Saturday, July 11, 2020

Eurocopter EC 145 (BK 117C-2), N263MH: Accident occurred July 04, 2020 at Wayne County Airport (KBJJ), Wooster, Ohio

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Location: Wooster, OH
Accident Number: CEN20LA264
Date & Time: 07/04/2020, 1357 EDT
Registration: N263MH
Aircraft: Mbb BK117
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical Emergency)

On July 4, 2020, about 1357 eastern daylight time (EDT), an Airbus Helicopter BK117, N263MH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Wayne County Airport (KBJJ), Wooster, Ohio. The two commercial pilots, the flight nurse, and flight paramedic sustained no injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 helicopter air ambulance flight.

Surveillance video showed that after lifting off a portable dolly, the helicopter, operated by Metro Aviation, turned right and briefly hovered. As the helicopter began to take off following the hover, it traversed a grassy area adjacent to the ramp about 10 ft above ground level (AGL), where a silt construction fence was obscured by tall grass. As the helicopter overflew, the fence became unsecured and blew up and into the main and tail rotor system as shown in the photo below. The crew then performed a forced landing, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, tailboom, and tail rotor blades.

Photo showing the silt construction fence entangled in the main rotor blades.

At the time of the accident, there were no notices to airmen (NOTAMS) for the construction fence and the presence of the fence was not contained within any publications or notices available to pilots.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:Mbb
Registration: N263MH
Model/Series: BK117 C2
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Metrohealth System
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
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Lowest Ceiling:
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Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 4 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.873611, -81.883889 (est)

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