Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bell 407, N947LH: Accident occurred January 22, 2020 in Minot, Ward County, North Dakota

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Minot, ND
Accident Number: CEN20LA068
Date & Time: 01/22/2020, 1332 CST
Registration: N947LH
Aircraft: Bell 407
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business - Air Medical (Unspecified) 

On January 22, 2020, about 1332 central standard time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N947LH, impacted a helipad perimeter fence during a landing near Minot, North Dakota. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Executive Air Taxi Corp under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight.

The pilot reported that he planned on a flight to the Trinity Medical Helipad (2ND4) to pick up the medical crew. The pilot stated he performed a right 180° circling approach to the pad. As he finished the turn, he thought he was a little low on final approach and "pulled in a little collective." He applied more collective, as he was leveling off, and the "helicopter contacted the pad firmly." The pilot added that it was firmer than a normal landing, but he thought everything was okay until he noticed a small vibration.

Before departing with the medical crew, the pilot still felt the vibration in the helicopter, so he shut the helicopter down to check. After shutdown, the crew walked toward the tail and noticed a slight bend in the lower vertical fin, the tips of both tail rotor blades missing, and the helipad safety fence was missing a small section of the fence-edge pipe.

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N947LH
Model/Series: 407 No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Executive Air Taxi Corp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMOT
Observation Time: 1354 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.78 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Minot, ND
Destination: Minot, ND (2ND4)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 48.232222, -101.293333

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