Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rand Robinson KR-2S, N886MJ: Accident occurred May 26, 2019 near Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Boone County, Illinois

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


https://registry.faa.gov/N886MJ



Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Accident Number: CEN19LA152
Date & Time: 05/26/2019, 1700 CDT
Registration: N886MJ
Aircraft: RAND ROBINSON KR2
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 26, 2019, about 1700 central daylight time, an amateur-built Rand Robinson KR2 airplane, N886MJ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Poplar Grove, Illinois. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan. The flight departed Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1650 with the intended destination of Albertus Airport (FEP), Freeport, Illinois.

According to information provided by the pilot, shortly after departing C77, the airplane was not accelerating as normally expected. He smelled oily smoke and saw the oil pressure reading below normal and the oil temperature increasing. The oil began losing power, so the pilot performed a forced landing to a corn field. During the landing, the nosewheel dug into the field and the airplane nosed over resulting in substantial damage to the wings and vertical stabilizer.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: RAND ROBINSON
Registration: N886MJ
Model/Series: KR2
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRFD, 743 ft msl
Observation Time: 1654 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Poplar Grove, IL (C77)
Destination: Freeport, IL (FEP)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  42.342778, -88.896667 (est)



POPLAR GROVE (WREX) — Poplar Grove Airport officials report a small plane went down in a field near the airport sometime Sunday evening.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of a crash in the area.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it responded to the area near Beloit Road.

Officials said there were no serious injuries reported. There is still limited information available at this time.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://wrex.com



POPLAR GROVE (WTVO) - Authorities are investigating a plane crash in Poplar Grove.

Around 5PM Sunday, several agencies were called to a corn field near Dawson Lake Road and Beloit Road where a small plane crash-landed.

The pilot suffered minor injuries but is expected to be okay. 

Authorities believe the plane took off from the Poplar Grove Airport, but airport personnel were not able to confirm.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.mystateline.com

Piper/CubCrafters PA-18-150 Super Cub, N997CC: Accident occurred May 25, 2019 at Yellowstone Regional Airport (KCOD), Cody, Park County, Wyoming

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Casper, Wyoming

Hunt Oil Company

https://registry.faa.gov/N997CC


NTSB Identification: GAA19CA285
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 25, 2019 in Cody, WY
Aircraft: PIPER PA18, registration: N997CC

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft flipped over on landing.

Date: 25-MAY-19
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N997CC
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CODY
State: WYOMING


Firefighting personnel and others work to right a plane that flipped over while landing at Yellowstone Regional Airport on May 25th, 2019. A student pilot and flight instructor on board were not injured.


A small, private plane crashed at Yellowstone Regional Airport on Saturday morning, flipping upside down.

The occupants of the Piper Cub — a student pilot and a local flight instructor — were not injured, but the Cody airport was closed for roughly two hours while personnel worked to investigate the incident, right the plane and move it off the runway.

The aircraft crashed on the northeast end of the runway around 11 a.m. Yellowstone Regional Airport Director Bob Hooper said the plane "apparently was affected by winds while landing, causing the aircraft to flip and come to rest upside down." The airport's aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel responded and assisted with the incident.

The plane is owned by Hunt Oil Co., a Dallas-based oil and gas company that owns property around Park County. Hunt Oil is part of a family companies that includes Hoodoo Land Holdings, which owns and operates the sprawling Hoodoo Ranch south of Cody.

A departing United Express flight to Denver was delayed about 1 1/2 hours, while an incoming Delta Connection flight from Salt Lake City was delayed about two hours, Hooper said in a Sunday news release.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are handling the incident.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.powelltribune.com

While a pilot from a delayed United flight watches, a private plane is moved along the runway after crashing at Yellowstone Regional Airport Saturday morning.


A small, private plane crashed at Yellowstone Regional Airport Saturday morning causing significant delays to commercial aircraft coming and going from the airport.
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No injuries were sustained in the accident to either the student pilot or local flight instructor inside the plane, but an incoming Delta flight from Salt Lake City was delayed two hours and a United Express flight departing to Denver from YRA was postponed 90 minutes because of the crash.The airport was closed to all traffic for two hours as staff removed the plane from the runway.

Bob Hooper, general manager of YRA, said the Piper Cub plane owned by Hunt Oil Company, was affected by winds while landing on the YRA tarmac around 10:55 a.m, causing the plane to flip upside down before coming to rest on Runway 22, at the northeast side of the airport.

Yellowstone Regional Airport Aircraft Rescue and fire fighting personnel responded to the accident.The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.codyenterprise.com

Loss of Control on Ground: Luscombe 8A Silvaire, N45729; accident occurred May 26, 2019 at Southern Illinois Airport (KMDH), Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N45729


Location: Carbondale, IL
Accident Number: GAA19CA288
Date & Time: 05/26/2019, 1335 CDT
Registration: N45729
Aircraft: Luscombe 8
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during the landing roll, the airplane encountered a wind gust. He applied right rudder to counter the gust, however, his foot slipped "completely off" the right rudder pedal. A runway excursion to the left was imminent, and the pilot attempted to use only the right heel brake to realign the airplane's heading. However, he inadvertently depressed both the left and right heel brakes, and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and the rudder.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Flight Engineer
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/01/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/18/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 20300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 32 hours (Total, this make and model), 16870 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 134 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Luscombe
Registration: N45729
Model/Series: 8 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2256
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/19/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1260 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2044.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: A65-8
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMDH, 416 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1831 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 38°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Harrison, AR (HRO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carbondale, IL (MDH)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1100 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Southern Illinois (MDH)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 411 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 36R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6506 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.778056, -89.251944 (est)




JACKSON COUNTY (WSIL) -- Southern Illinois Airport officials say a small plane crashed while attempting to land at the airport in Murphysboro on Sunday afternoon. 

Airport Assistant Manager Patrick McDonald said the airport called for mutual aid for an accident at the airport around 1:35 p.m.

Jackson County Ambulance, Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Southern Illinois Airport Emergency crews reacted immediately, not knowing the condition of the passengers. 

The pilot and the passenger were both coming from San Diego making a quick stop in southern Illinois before making their way home. 

"This was just a stopping point, apparently he (the pilot) had just purchased the aircraft and was trying to get it back home," McDonald said. 

McDonald said the small aircraft was trying to land when it flipped over, but the good news is the pilot and the passenger were both able to walk away. 

"Any plane crash that you can walk away from is a good one," McDonald said. 

McDonald said the pilot did complain of pain in his wrist, but was not treated. 

"With the minimal amount of damage that happened to the plane, he got very fortunate," McDonald said. "You know that thing could have just crumbled."

A crane was brought in to flip the plane back over. 

McDonald said this type of model aircraft is around 1,400 pounds and can hold two to four people.

He said the plane won't be back up in the air anytime soon due to the damage and the pending investigation. 

Over the course of the next few days, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency will be at the airport to investigate the cause of the crash. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.wsiltv.com




JACKSON COUNTY, Illinois – Two men were able to walk away from a plane crash in Southern Illinois on Sunday afternoon. The assistant airport manager at Southern Illinois Airport Patrick McDonald says the passenger did not have any injuries and the pilot said he had slight discomfort in his wrist. He says the pilot refused medical treatment.

McDonald says crashes like this are rare, but the two men got lucky. About 1:35 in the afternoon, the pilot was trying to land his small plane he just purchased.

McDonald says Southern Illinois was supposed to be a pit stop before the pilot brought his new plane home to San Diego.

“From what I understand, he came in to land and it flipped forward. Once he flipped forward and was on his turtle shell – so to speak – he wasn’t going anywhere,” McDonald said.

The pilot and one passenger are not being named and the pilot declined to comment.

McDonald says first responders were there in under five minutes.

“Minimal amount of damage to the plane. He got very fortunate that thing could have crumpled,” McDonald said. “In the realm of crashes, yeah it was pretty smooth.”

He says this model can hold from two to four people. The cause of the crash is unknown.

“I think aviation is a risky proposition. Folks are up there doing what they do and learning how to fly so they can become more safe, but obviously doing what they do as pilots can be kind of treacherous at times and accidents happen,” said McDonald.

A crane removed the plane from the tarmac a few hours after the crash, but it will remain in Jackson County until the Federal Aviation Administration investigators can make a visit.

McDonald says FAA should be making a visit in the next few days. They will have to interview the pilot as a part of the investigation.

McDonald says the plane is in not able to fly in the condition it is in.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wpsdlocal6.com




UPDATED 3:05 p.m. SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

Southern Illinois Airport Assistant Manager Patrick McDonald tells News 3 that a Luscombe airplane flipped during landing. 

Two people were on board. McDonald says both are okay. 

Airport operations and fire and rescue are on scene. McDonald says a crane is in route to flip the plane back over. 

UPDATED 2: 45 p.m. SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

Our crew on the scene reports one small plane is upside down on the runway. 

First responders are on scene.

UPDATED 2:30 p.m. SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2019

Sources confirm to News 3 a small plane flipped at the airport in Murphysboro.

Some of the departments that have responded are now clearing the scene.

News 3 is working to learn if anyone has been injured.

ORIGINAL STORY

JACKSON CO. (WSIL) -- Multiple agencies have responded to an incident at the Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro.

Officials tell News 3 agencies have responded but couldn't confirm any details at this time.

According to a post by the Southern Illinois Fire Incidents Facebook page, fire and ambulance crews have responded to a plane crash.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.wsiltv.com



MURPHYSBORO, Illinois  – Sunday around 2:30 pm a Luscombe flipped over after landing at the Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro Illinois.  Two people were on board the plane. Both walked away uninjured

Rescue crews were called to the scene as a precaution.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://fox2now.com




JACKSON COUNTY, IL – UPDATE: 5:00 PM  – Southern Illinois Airport manager says a Luscombe has crashed upside down on the tarmac. Two pilots were on the plane and did not suffer major injuries.

A crane is on the tarmac trying to flip the plane back over. A pilot at the scene says the wind or a mechanical issue could have been the reason for the crash. The cause is unknown at this time.

UPDATE: 3:18 PM – Jackson County Emergency Management say an airplane is upside down at the airport. No injuries have been reported.

A Facebook post from Southern Illinois Fire Incidents says a plane has crashed at the Southern Illinois Airport. Murphysboro Fire Department confirms there has been an “incident” at the airport and that crews have responded to the scene. They will not release any more details at this time.

The Southern Illinois Fire Incidents Facebook page says “Multiple agencies are responding to the incident and local hospitals placed on trauma standby” and that “ARCH helicopter crew stationed at airport en route to assist”.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wpsdlocal6.com

Controlled Flight into Terrain / Object: Bell UH-1H Iroquois, N658H, fatal accident occurred January 17, 2018 in Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico

Jamie Coleman Dodd, pilot. 
Jamie Coleman "JC" Dodd was a member of the USMC Reserves and the Army, where he rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4, flying helicopter missions in Central & South America. In 1990, JC joined the California Highway Patrol, where he did three years of duty on the road in Marin County before joining the Valley Division Air Operations Unit in Auburn as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. He was also a member of the National Guard 126th Medical Company (Air Ambulance). During his career, JC flew countless rescue missions, often in extreme conditions, saving numerous lives. His strong character and leadership skills made him a respected member of his unit. He received a number of awards for his skills as a pilot, and always made sure that his coworkers received acknowledgment, as well. Despite all his abilities and achievements he remained very humble, with an understated strength and sense of humor. 

 
Paul Cobb, Pilot-Rated Passenger. 
Paul Cobb was shot down while flying a helicopter in the Vietnam War, according to his wife, Martha. He went on to serve as a police officer for three decades in the Houston suburb of Pasadena, Texas, rising to police chief until his retirement in 2004. Cobb flew a historic Vietnam-era helicopter during an event to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2016. Martyn Hill, Burnett's personal attorney, described Cobb as an experienced, cautious pilot who had "survived many battles ... he was a great person as well," Hill said.


Charles Ryland Burnett III
A prominent businessman, philanthropist and record-breaking sportsman, Mr. Burnett was a larger-than-life figure known for his fearlessness, generosity and limitless ideas.

Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Roy Bennett and his wife Heather.
Mr. Bennett was a reform-minded political leader in Zimbabwe, Africa and an opponent of former President Robert Mugabe. Mr. Burnett had supported pro-Democracy movements in Africa for several years. 


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico
Honeywell Aerospace; Phoenix, Arizona
Rotorcraft Development Corporation; Hamilton, Montana
Air Accidents Investigation Branch, UK; FN
 
Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N658H


Location: Raton, NM
Accident Number: CEN18FA078
Date & Time: 01/17/2018, 1800 MST
Registration: N658H
Aircraft: BELL UH-1H
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 5 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 17, 2018, about 1800 mountain standard time, a Bell UH-1H helicopter, N658H, impacted terrain near Raton, New Mexico. The helicopter was subsequently consumed by a postimpact fire. The commercial pilot, a pilot-rated passenger, and three other passengers were fatally injured. One passenger sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Sapphire Aviation LLC as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Raton Municipal Airport/Crews Field (RTN), near Raton, New Mexico, about 1750 and was destined for Folsom, New Mexico.

According to a statement taken by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspectors, the surviving passenger stated that the group of passengers boarded a private airplane in Houston, Texas and the airplane flew them to Raton, New Mexico. They subsequently boarded a company helicopter. The purpose of the helicopter flight was to take the group to personal function in Folsom, New Mexico. The passenger reported that the takeoff was normal. As they were flying east, the sun had gone down, and the stars were very bright. The passenger reported no turbulence during the flight. There were no unusual noises, no observed warning lights in the cockpit, and the pilot and copilot were calm; everything appeared normal. The passenger recalled that they were in level flight and when she heard a big bang as the helicopter hit the ground. After ground contact, the helicopter rolled forward coming to a stop upside down. The passenger was hanging from the seat belt, the door was not present, and jet fuel was pouring on her. She released her seat belt and egressed the helicopter. The helicopter was on fire and subsequent explosions followed. The passenger called 9-1-1 and waited for emergency responders.

According to a first responder, he arrived at the accident site about 2000 and paramedics arrived there about 2015.

The pilot initially survived the accident but succumbed to his injuries en route to a hospital. A witness stated that he was with the pilot before he was loaded in the rescue helicopter and asked the pilot what happened. The pilot replied that the accident was his fault and that he had flown into terrain. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 6416 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s):
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/11/2017
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 3140 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument helicopter ratings. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate issued on December 7, 2017. The pilot reported on the application for his medical certificate that he had accumulated 6,416 hours of total flight time and 44 hours in the six months before the examination. His medical certificate was issued with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses for distant, have glasses for near vision. The pilot reported on an insurance questionnaire that he had accumulated 2,065 hours of total flight time in UH-1 helicopters.

The pilot rated passenger held a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating. He held a second-class medical certificate issued on December 11, 2017. The pilot-rated passenger reported on the application for his medical certificate that he had accumulated 3,140 hours of total flight time and 30 hours in the six months before the examination. His medical certificate was issued with the limitations that he must wear corrective lenses, and that the certificate was not valid for any class after December 31, 2018. The pilot-rated passenger reported on an insurance questionnaire that he had accumulated 120 hours of total flight time in UH-1 helicopters.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N658H
Model/Series: UH-1H
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 67-17658
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 4420.5 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: T53-L-703
Registered Owner: SAPPHIRE AVIATION LLC
Rated Power: 1300 hp
Operator: SAPPHIRE AVIATION LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

N658H, was registered as a Bell UH-1H, helicopter with serial no. 67-17658. However, the current type certificate holder for that serial number is Rotorcraft Development Corporation.

The helicopter was manufactured in 1967 and according to a representative of the type certificate holder (Rotorcraft Development Corporation), was added to the type certificate on August 13, 2007. The helicopter was a single-engine helicopter powered by a Honeywell (formerly Lycoming) T53-L-703 turbo shaft engine with serial number LE-10462Z, which drove a two-bladed main rotor system and a two-bladed tail rotor. T53 engines are a two-spool engine. The gas generator spool consists of a five-stage axial compressor followed by a single-stage centrifugal compressor, and a two-stage high pressure turbine. The power turbine spool consists of two stages. The engine has a maximum continuous rating of 1,300 shaft horsepower at an output shaft speed of 6,634 rpm.

According to information received from the FAA, the accident helicopter was released from the General Services Administration in May 1996 and was owned and operated by seven other civilian operators before Sapphire Aviation, LLC, purchased it on February 10, 2017.

FAA records showed the helicopter was certificated as a restricted category aircraft for external load operations. Title 14 CFR 91.313 states in part that no person may be carried on a restricted category civil aircraft unless that person is a flight crewmember, is a flight crewmember trainee, performs an essential function in connection with a special purpose operation for which the aircraft is certificated, or is necessary to accomplish the work activity directly associated with that special purpose.

According to an inspection data sheet, updated on January 9, 2018, the helicopter had accumulated 4,420.5 hours of total time. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRTN, 6349 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 MST
Direction from Accident Site: 282°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C / -18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: RATON, NM (RTN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Folsom, NM
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1750 MST
Type of Airspace: 

At 1753, the recorded weather at RTN was: Wind 030° at 10 kts; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 1° C; dew point -18° C; altimeter 30.26 inches of mercury.

According to U.S. Naval Observatory Sun and Moon Data, the end of local civil twilight was 1735 and local moonset was at 1754. The observatory characterized the phase of the moon as "waxing crescent with 0% of the moon's visible disk illuminated."

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 5 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 36.704444, -104.286667 (est) 

The main wreckage (fuselage) came to rest on a heading about 15° magnetic on a flat mesa about 10.7 nautical miles and 102° from RTN at an elevation about 6,932 ft mean sea level (msl). The mesa consisted mostly of small rocks and prairie grass. The area around the main wreckage was discolored and charred, consistent with a postaccident ground fire. There were no observed sources of ground light or illumination in the vicinity of the accident site.

The initial observed point of terrain contact was a parallel pair of ground scars, consistent with the width of the helicopter's skids, which led directly to the main wreckage on a 074° magnetic bearing. The distance from the start of the parallel ground scars to the wreckage was about 474 ft. About 18 ft past the end of the ground scars was a 25-ft-long ground scar consistent with a main rotor blade slap, which ran perpendicular to the path of travel. The entire main rotor came to rest about 60 ft beyond the blade slap signature. The tail rotor and tail rotor gear box were resting nearby. The helicopter's main wreckage was located about 66 ft beyond the main rotor. It came to rest upside down and the entire cabin section between the cockpit and tail boom was destroyed by fire.

The right side of the cockpit sustained thermal damage. The cyclic and collective on the left side of the cockpit were in place. The left cockpit side anti-torque pedals were present and connected to their under-deck push-pull tubes. The collective had broken away from its mount. Its twist grip linkage was present and connected. The twist grip's under-deck push-pull tubes moved when the grip's linkage was manipulated by hand. The push-pull tube sections located between the seats were been destroyed.

The collective control on the right side of the cockpit was separated from the floor deck. The right cyclic was not located. The right cockpit side's left anti-torque pedal was separated from it mount and the right anti-torque pedal was not located. Their connecting push-pull rod end were fractured into segments consistent with overload. All controls tubes aft of the cockpit were destroyed by fire.

Cockpit instruments and avionics exhibited discoloration, charring, and deformation consistent with thermal damage. Two altimeters were located. The altimeter on the left side of instrument panel read 6,760 ft (Kollsman window indicated 30.18). The other altimeter had separated from its instrument panel. The altimeter's 100-ft needle detached from its instrument face. However, the 1,000-ft needle pointed at 6,000 ft (Kollsman window indicated 30.28).

The transmission and main rotor mast were present forward of the engine and laying on its right side. The transmission's case had been consumed by fire, revealing the main drive gear and planetary gear train. The main drive gear was intact with no mechanical gear/tooth damage evident. The engine drive/sprag clutch was aligned with the transmission where a fragment of the KaFlex coupling was attached and was consistent in appearance with an overload fracture. Fragments of the KaFlex and torque tube were located in the debris field and displayed signatures consistent with overload fractures. The stationary swashplate was present with one servo connection present. The other two control servo connection horns were destroyed by thermal damage. Three flight control hydraulic servos were located. All aluminum hardware connecting each end of each servo had been melted or destroyed. The rotating swashplate was present with one scissor attached and the other scissor exhibited thermal damage. One main rotor blade damper remained attached to the rotor mast. The other blade damper was located in the debris field near the main rotor assembly. The mast had separated at the rotor head with a circumferential fracture consistent with torsional overload.

The engine compressor cases, accessory gearbox housing, and inlet housing were consumed by fire. The output reduction carrier and gear assembly, which attaches to the inlet housing, was intact and recovered as a loose component. Gears within the accessory gearbox were recovered as loose components. There were no penetrations of the combustor plenum. The exhaust tail pipe was disassembled from the engine while on scene to document the second-stage of the power turbine. There were metal spray deposits on the suction side of the second-stage power turbine stator vanes. There was no damage to leading edge of either the second-stage power turbine stator vanes or the second-stage power turbine rotor blades.

The left horizontal stabilizer had separated from the tail boom at its root. The right horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the tail boom.

Four of the 5 tail rotor drive shaft segments were aligned with the transmission and positioned along the top of the tail boom. The first drive shaft that spanned the space beneath the engine was not located; however, the steel end coupling was present at the aft end of the transit tube. All the drive shaft segments had detached from their coupling hanger bearings, except for the shaft connecting to the lower section of the intermediate (42°) gear box. The shaft extending upward from the 42° gear box had separated along with the tail rotor gear box. The 42° gear box remained attached to the tail boom. Oil was present in the case, and the gears could be rotated by hand. Tail rotor control push-pull tube was separated at the forward end of the tail boom. Control continuity was established from the forward section of the tail boom to the tail rotor gearbox mount. Control continuity from the forward section of the tail boom to the horizontal stabilizer was established. The tail rotor gear box, the attached drive shaft, tail rotor head, and both blades had been separated from the vertical tail and were located in debris field near the main rotor assembly. Oil was present in the tail rotor gear box. The tail rotor assembly remained intact. The pitch links were attached from the pitch horns to the cross head. Rotor head balance weights remained attached. The tail rotor shaft moved freely by hand, no binding in the gear box. The tail rotor red blade tip leading edge was peeled back, and the tip cap sheared off. The opposite blade had been bent outboard about 30° about midspan along the chord line.

The main rotor separated from the rotor mast at the bottom of the rotor head and showed a fracture surface consistent with torsional overload. Both main rotor blades (red and white) remained attached to their main rotor head blade grips. The stabilizer bar assembly had separated from the main rotor head and was located near the main rotor assembly. The pitch change links, the control tubes, and the mixing lever remained connected to the stabilizer bar assembly.

The majority of the red main rotor blade's fiberglass and honeycomb blade afterbody had separated from its blade spar. Portions of the afterbody panels were discolored black and brown consistent with exposure to fire. The length of the red blade was about 21 ft 8 in. The outboard tip portion of the red blade had separated. The outboard 5 ft of the blade exhibited a broomstraw appearance. The drag brace remained connected. The pitch horn had sheared off the blade grip at its mounting pad.

The majority of the white main rotor blade's fiberglass and honeycomb blade afterbody had buckled and separated from the spar at 4 locations. The white blade's tip had sheared from its blade at a 45° angle. The length of the white blade was about 20 ft. The outboard tip portion of the blade had separated. The outboard 1 ft of the blade exhibited a broomstraw appearance. The drag brace remained connected. The pitch horn had sheared off the blade grip at its mounting pad.

Medical And Pathological Information

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, New Mexico, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The pilot's cause of death was blunt force trauma with atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing conditions. The autopsy revealed that the pilot's heart was enlarged, and both ventricles were thickened. Severe coronary artery disease was identified with up to 75% stenosis of the left anterior descending coronary artery and up to 40% stenosis of the left circumflex coronary artery. In addition, there was microscopic evidence of previous ischemia.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens of the pilot. Etomidate was detected in heart blood, and 0.032 µg/mL of diphenhydramine was detected in femoral blood. Diphenhydramine was also detected in liver.

Review of postaccident treatment records indicated that the pilot was administered etomidate by paramedics following the accident.

Diphenhydramine is used for the treatment of the common cold and hay fever. It carries the following Federal Drug Administration warning: may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). The therapeutic range for diphenhydramine is 0.0250 to 0.1120 µg/ml. Diphenhydramine can cause marked sedation, altered mood, and impaired cognitive and psychomotor performance. In a driving simulator study, a single 50 mg dose of diphenhydramine impaired driving ability more than a blood alcohol concentration of 0.100 gm/dl.

Tests And Research

A cellphone and iPad were located in the wreckage and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Laboratory to be examined for data pertinent to the accident. The devices were found locked so no data was retrieved.

The NTSB conducted terrain mapping and viewpoint flights of the impact area using a small unmanned aircraft system. Video from the drone flights was overlaid with cockpit imagery from an exemplar helicopter as a visualization aid. The overlay showed that fewer visible terrain features were present near the accident area during night conditions than during day conditions. The UAS Aerial Imagery Factual Report is in the docket for this accident.

A review of local terrain revealed that, if the helicopter had flown directly from RTM to the destination, the terrain along the route would have been about 450 ft lower. The accident site was located about 4 nautical miles south of this route.

Additional Information

A witness at the ranch in the Folsom, New Mexico, area was asked if he knew the route of flight for previous helicopter flights to the ranch. He reported that the few times that the pilot would have flown to the ranch would have mainly been from Perry Stokes Airport, near Trinidad, Colorado. He was not familiar with how many trips the pilot would have made from RTN to the ranch, but indicated that "it was probably minimal."

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 61-134, General Aviation Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness, defines controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) as when an airworthy aircraft is flown, under the control of a qualified pilot, into terrain (water or obstacles) with inadequate awareness on the part of the pilot of the impending collision.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau Aviation Research and Analysis Report stated that at night, the absence of peripheral visual cues, especially below the aircraft, can give an illusion of height, and result in the pilot inadvertently flying lower than necessary.

An article in The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, published in September 2008, titled Visual Misperception in Aviation: Glide Path Performance in a Black Hole Environment, stated that no pilot was immune from visual [spatial disorientation]. Pilots with more experience tended to fly even lower than those with less experience.

Birdstrike: Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six , N4599X; accident occurred April 19, 2019 in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


https://registry.faa.gov/N4599X

Location: Saipan, MP
Accident Number: GAA19CA268
Date & Time: 04/19/2019, 1826 LCL
Registration: N4599X
Aircraft: Piper PA32
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Birdstrike
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Scheduled 

The operator reported that, during the initial climb, about 1,500 ft, the pilot and passengers reported hearing and feeling an impact. The upper left engine cowling separated and struck the windshield. The pilot declared an emergency, returned to the departure airport, and landed without further incident

Postaccident examination revealed traces of blood on the propeller, left wing leading edge, and the vertical stabilizer leading edge. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage, which was consistent with impact damage from the separated engine cowling.

The operator reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 44, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/05/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/13/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1268 hours (Total, all aircraft), 425 hours (Total, this make and model), 816 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 229 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4599X
Model/Series: PA32 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32-7640040
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/03/2019, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8625.48 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1A5
Registered Owner: Star Marianas Air Inc
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: Star Marianas Air Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA); Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: 1SMA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: PGSN, 13 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0854 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 97°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 60°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Saipan, MP (GSN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Tinian Island, MP (TNI)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1820 LCL
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: SAIPAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (GSN)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 215 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing; Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 15.118056, 145.724167 (est)