Sunday, January 12, 2020

Rotor Suction: Robinson R44, N447PA; accident occurred September 06, 2019 in Nuiqsut, Alaska

View of damage sustained to main rotor blade 
Federal Aviation Administration 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Nuiqsut, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA531
Date & Time: 09/06/2019, 1350 AKD
Registration: N447PA
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Prop/jet/rotor blast/suction
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load 

The helicopter pilot reported that, he landed the helicopter facing south and about 30 yards from the empty gravel carrying super sacks. When the skids touched down, the pilot reduced the collective and saw a super sack about 15ft away and coming at the helicopter. The super sack was ingested by the advancing side of the main rotor disk. The pilot rolled off throttle and shut down the engine.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor blades.

The pilot reported that the wind at the accident site was from the southwest about 15 knots.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied:Right 
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/05/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/14/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2215 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1780 hours (Total, this make and model), 2149 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 102 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 68 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N447PA
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11197
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/30/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4038.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Registered Owner: Pollux Aviation Ltd
Rated Power: 260 hp
Operator: Pollux Aviation Ltd
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137); Commuter Air Carrier (135); Rotorcraft External Load (133)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: UPXL

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAUN, 20 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2155 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 184°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Deadhorse, AK (PASC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Deadhorse, AK (PASC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Nuiqsut (AQT)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf; Gravel
Airport Elevation: 45 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Soft; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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: 63.888611, -160.799167 (est)

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