Friday, June 26, 2020

Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II, N5013G: Accident occurred June 25, 2020 in Coconut Creek, Broward County, Florida

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida
Bell;  Fort Worth, Texas
Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana


Location: Coconut Creek, FL
Accident Number: ERA20LA229
Date & Time: June 25, 2020, 12:00 Local
Registration: N5013G
Aircraft: Bell 206
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft ext. load

On June 25, 2020, about 1200 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206-L1 helicopter, N5013G, was involved in an accident at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, Florida. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133.

According to the owner/operator and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors on site, the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to perform external load operations with a 100-ft long line over wooded terrain. The external loads lifted and placed by the helicopter included bags of stone and sections of pipe for a drainage project inside the park.

In a written statement, the pilot stated he checked "fuel status and aircraft systems" prior to hovering the load into position. At that time, he estimated "between 65 and 70 pounds [of fuel], telling me I had approximately 10-15 minutes of operational time remaining to complete the load." The pilot hovered the helicopter to maintain a 4-foot load height "to assist the ground crew with releasing the material from the bag." He said the task focused "all of his attention" when he heard the "sound of my engine flame out/failing and complete loss of power to maintain flight." The pilot said that he maneuvered the helicopter into the wind and away from the ground crew for the forced landing and made a full collective application prior to entering the trees.

The helicopter came to rest upright with substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom.

According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1979 and was powered by a Rolls-Royce 250 C30P 650 shaft -horsepower, turbo-shaft engine. Its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed January 17, 2020 at 17,638.8 total aircraft hours. At 1955, the weather recorded at Pompano Beach Airpark (6A2) 4 miles southeast of the accident site included few clouds at 2,100 feet and winds from 100 degrees at 7 knots. The helicopter was examined by an FAA aviation safety inspector at the site immediately after the accident. There was no odor of fuel, and no evidence of fuel spillage at the scene. The extended-range fuel device was removed, and visual inspection of the fuel tank revealed no fuel. The inspector then sumped the fuel system per the manufacturer's Rotorcraft Flight Manual and recovered no fuel. During recovery of the helicopter, the recovery crew inserted a defueling hose in the main tank and activated a pump to recover all residual fuel and no fuel was recovered. Control continuity was confirmed through some fractures to all flight control surfaces. The fractures displayed features consistent with overstress.

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N5013G
Model/Series: 206 L1
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft external load (133)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPMP,19 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2100 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Coconut Creek, FL 
Destination: Coconut Creek, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 26.26361,-80.099998 (est)

Margate-Coconut Creek: 

This afternoon, county workers were working on a drainage system project at Tradewinds Park South (3600 W Sample Rd.) utilizing a helicopter to transport pipes and equipment. During the operation, the helicopter experienced a mechanical issue and crashed approx 200 yards into a heavily wooded and swampy area of the park.

Several Fire Companies from Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue arrived on scene and made the challenging access by foot to the remote crash site. Upon arriving at the crash site they managed to rescue and stabilize the injured pilot who heroically managed to avoid all the workers on the ground during the crash and fortunately suffered only non-life threatening injuries. Due to the crash occurring in a very remote and inaccessible area, the initial Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Department crews on scene requested assistance and additional resources from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Department Technical Rescue Team and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Air Rescue North to hoist the injured pilot from the crash site and safely transport him to the local Trauma Center for further evaluation.

One Margate-Coconut Creek Firefighter was treated and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries as a result of this incurrent.

Representatives from FAA are on scene and this incident remains under investigation.

Margate Coconut Creek Fire Rescue

COCONUT CREEK, Florida – A helicopter pilot working with a crew on a project in Tradewinds Park had to be rescued from a heavily wooded area after the chopper crashed Thursday.

The crash happened shortly after noon when it was reported that the helicopter went down in the 3600 block of West Sample Road.

Coconut Creek police spokesman Scotty Leamon said construction was being done in the area.

“We knew that the helicopter would be out today picking up the pipe and construction material from one place and transporting it to another place and dropping it off,” said Leamon.

The Coconut Creek Police said that the helicopter pilot was part of a county crew that was restoring a drainage system in Tradewinds Park.

Several fire companies from Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue arrived on the scene. By foot they got to the remote crash site, where a spokesperson for the city of Margate said they were able to rescue and stabilize the injured pilot.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Department Technical Rescue Team and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Air Rescue North were able to hoist the injured pilot from the crash site and he was then transport to a local hospital.

“It was an extremely difficult area to work within, heavily wooded,” Lt. Alex Acosta of Miami-Dade Air Rescue said. Acosta said much of the site had to be cleared using chainsaws to get to the wreckage.

Leamon said the pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter.

One Margate-Coconut Creek firefighter was treated and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a city of Margate official.

Coconut Creek police said the helicopter pilot suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“It’s a great feeling. That’s why we do the job, to save lives and to help out,” said F.M. Jorge Ley of Miami-Dade Air Rescue.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived on the scene and are investigating what caused the chopper to crash.

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