Friday, January 15, 2021

Hughes 269C, N7480F: Accident occurred January 13, 2021 near Spanish Fork Municipal/Woodhouse Field (KSPK), Utah County, Utah

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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Schweizer Aircraft; Fort Worth, Texas 
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Accident Number: WPR21LA086
Date & Time: January 13, 2021, 13:50 Local
Registration: N7480F
Aircraft: Hughes 269C 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On January 13, 2021, about 1350 mountain standard time, a Hughes 269C helicopter, N7480F, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Spanish Fork, Utah. The instructor and pilot receiving instruction were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the flight instructor, they performed an uneventful preflight inspection, started the helicopter and transitioned into a hover. The pilot receiving instruction reported that during the engine run-up, which was performed at 2,500 rpm, they reduced engine power to idle and observed normal rotor and rpm separation. The instructor stated that after departure they entered the airport traffic pattern where they performed several landings and three autorotative maneuvers at the airport. They subsequently departed the airport traffic pattern and flew to a nearby practice area west of the airport. After performing two recoveries from settling with power, they elected to return to the airport. During cruise flight at 6,500 ft mean sea level, 1,500 ft above ground level (agl), the instructor decided to practice a simulated engine failure and decreased power to idle as he announced to the pilot receiving instruction that they had lost power. The pilot receiving instruction lowered the collective to enter an autorotative maneuver and selected a landing site when prompted by his instructor. As the helicopter descended to 500 ft agl, the instructor advised the pilot receiving instruction to recover, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to restore power. The instructor immediately took control of the helicopter and attempted an air restart, but was unsuccessful. He flared the helicopter as it passed below 30 ft agl to reduce airspeed and the helicopter’s rate of descent. The instructor then raised the collective to arrest their descent further before impact, but the helicopter had about 7 mph of forward movement as it contacted the soft ground. The helicopter nosed over and the main rotor blades contacted the tailboom,
which separated from the helicopter. The front right skid tube broke and the helicopter rolled onto its right side before it came to rest.

The helicopter was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Hughes
Registration: N7480F
Model/Series: 269C 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPVU,4497 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /-6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Spanish Fork, UT (SPK)
Destination: Spanish Fork, UT

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.130849,-111.6879

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