Thursday, January 09, 2020

Hughes OH-6A, N6186U: Accident occurred January 08, 2020 in Weston, Webster County, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; College Park, Georgia

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Preston, GA
Accident Number: ERA20LA071
Date & Time: 01/08/2020, 1440 EST
Registration: N6186U
Aircraft: Hughes OH 6A
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft 

On January 8, 2020, about 1400 eastern standard time, a Hughes OH-6A, N6186U, was substantially damaged following a loss of engine power and subsequent autorotation near Preston, Georgia. The commercial pilot and one crewmember sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was operated as a public use, aerial observation flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated at a field near Preston, Georgia about 1240 and was destined for Southwest Georgia Regional Airport (ABY), Albany, Georgia.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to observe and shoot feral swine invading farm fields. A hog was located and the pilot radioed the ground crew of its location. Shortly thereafter, the pilot noted a loss of engine power and rotor rpm. The pilot maneuvered the aircraft away from trees and set up for an autorotation in an open field. During the landing, the helicopter nosed forward and the main rotor blades contacted the ground. The engine appeared to be running at idle power at impact.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The tail boom separated from the aircraft and all three main rotor blades separated from the hub. The fuselage sustained structural damage.

The operator reported that the N2 governor was changed prior to the flight due to a problem on a previous flight. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Hughes
Registration: N6186U
Model/Series: OH 6A No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: US Dept Of Agriculture
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCSG, 392 ft msl
Observation Time: 1351 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 39 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.43 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Preston, GA
Destination: Albany, GA (ABY) 

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: 31.962500, -84.527500 (est) 

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