Sunday, February 02, 2020

Low Altitude Operation / Event: Sikorsky S-58JT, N827MW; accident occurred November 10, 2019 in Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana

View of damaged tailboom and trailer. 
 Federal Aviation Administration

 View of landing zone.
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lebanon, IN
Accident Number: GAA20CA063
Date & Time: 11/10/2019, 1316 EST
Registration: N827MW
Aircraft: Sikorsky S 58JT
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning

The helicopter pilot reported that he did a low-reconnaissance flight over the intended landing site, just to the east of a building. Shortly after, he realized that the landing site was changed to the west side of the building. He maneuvered the helicopter to a hover over a new landing site west of the building, about 75 feet above the ground, and started a vertical decent. During the decent, a company mechanic seated in left seat of the cockpit told the pilot of an obstacle to the left of the helicopter. He acknowledged seeing the obstacle and continued to descend. Shortly after touchdown, as the pilot reduced the throttle setting to idle, the main rotor blades struck an empty tractor trailer, the helicopter yawed, and the tail rotor blades struck the trailer.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor and tail rotor systems.

The director of operations 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: 50, 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; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/14/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/23/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 5500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1450 hours (Total, this make and model), 4500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Sikorsky
Registration: N827MW
Model/Series: S 58JT ET
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Transport
Serial Number: 58827
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/29/2019, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 12500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 20047 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT6T-3
Registered Owner: Midwest Truxton International Inc
Rated Power: 900 hp
Operator: Midwest Helicopter Airways, Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137); Rotorcraft External Load (133); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: JTKA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTYQ, 922 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1835 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 92°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Indianapolis, IN (UMP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Boone County (6I4)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 959 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.036111, -86.482222 (est)

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