Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Robinson R44, N7511D: Accident occurred July 02, 2020 in Welsh, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana

 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; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Location: Welch, LA
Accident Number: CEN20LA286
Date & Time: July 2, 2020, 10:00 Local
Registration: N7511D
Aircraft: Robinson R44
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted
Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 2, 2020, about 1000 central daylight time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N7511D, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Welsh, Louisiana. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, the helicopter was recently purchased in mid-May 2020 and had about 9 hours of flight time since the annual exam was completed on June 1, 2020. He said he was flying to a friend's house about 5 miles away to wash the helicopter. He departed from Welsh Airport and was flying about 100 ft agl. He made it about halfway to his friend's house when the low rotor RPM horn began to sound; then the helicopter began to lose power. The pilot made the decision to land the helicopter. The pilot explained he did not conduct an autorotation because the helicopter still had partial power. About 3-4 ft above the ground, the helicopter started to spin to the right. The pilot attempted to arrest the spin with a control input of left pedal, and he rolled the throttle to the detent, but nothing happened. The helicopter impacted the ground and came to rest on its left side (see Figure 1). The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor drive shaft and tail boom. 

Figure 1: Photograph of Helicopter After the Accident (Courtesy of Pilot)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N7511D
Model/Series: R44 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 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: KCWF,17 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:50 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Welsh, LA (6R1)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 31.169389,-91.86827 (est)

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