Friday, January 10, 2020

Aerospatiale AS350 B2 Ecureuil, N288CH: Accident occurred April 27, 2019 in Juneau, Alaska

View of tail-boom damage

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau, Alaska

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Juneau, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA233
Date & Time: 04/27/2019, 1737 AKD
Registration: N288CH
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 6 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled 

The helicopter pilot reported that, on the second landing on a "ridge/saddle," while dropping off passengers for recreational skiing. The tail rotor contacted a higher spot of snow-covered terrain.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and mounting surface for the tail rotor gearbox.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/06/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/02/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3707 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1384 hours (Total, this make and model), 3650 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 91 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 37 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N288CH
Model/Series: AS350 B2
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1990
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2383
Landing Gear Type: High Skid
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/05/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4961 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 10172.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Safran
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: Ariel 1D1
Registered Owner: Coastal Helicopters Inc
Rated Power: 732 hp
Operator: Coastal Helicopters Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commercial Air Tour (136); Agricultural Aircraft (137); Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: XCHA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAJN, 24 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 203°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.39 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Juneau, AK (PAJN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Juneau, AK
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1700 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:  None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  None
Latitude, Longitude: 58.491111, -134.455000 (est)

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