Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Eurocopter AS350 B3, N354PA: Accident occurred September 06, 2020 in Fort Greely, Alaska

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; Anchorage, Alaska

Location: Fort Greely, AK
Accident Number: ANC20LA089
Date & Time: 09/06/2020, 1000 AKD
Registration: N354PA
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On September 6, 2020, about 1000 Alaska daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 B3, N354PA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Fort Greely, Alaska. The pilot and one crew member were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

The pilot reported that while in cruise flight, at about 700 ft agl and 110 kts, a sudden loud bang and associated left yaw was experienced as the left passenger door departed the helicopter. According to the pilot, the left passenger door, which was closed, went from "fully secured to gone instantly." The passenger door subsequently impacted a main rotor blade during the separation sequence, which resulted in substantial damage. Subsequently an emergency landing was made to a nearby grass area with no further incident. The pilot added that the left passenger sliding door had not been used other than to check it for security during the preflight, and it was checked by both himself and the mechanic before flight.

The helicopter and passenger door have been recovered and a detailed examination is pending. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Registration: N354PA
Model/Series: AS 350 B3
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pathfinder Aviation LLC
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:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Delta Junction, AK
Destination: Anchorage, AK (MRI)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  (est) 

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap I thought these roll doors had fail safe protection measures to prevent just a thing from happening. This will be an interesting failure read. Crew is lucky they survived that and the blades were not destroyed.