Sunday, April 18, 2021

Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri, N421PB: Accident occurred April 09, 2021 in LeRoy, Coffey County, Kansas

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; Kansas City, Missouri

Location: LeRoy, KS 
Accident Number: CEN21LA187
Date & Time: April 9, 2021, 10:12 Local 
Registration: N421PB
Aircraft: Eurocopter EC120
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 9, 2021, about 1012 central daylight time, a Eurocopter EC120B helicopter, N421PB, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near LeRoy, Kansas. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that he departed on the cross-country flight from Philip Billard Municipal Airport (TOP) to Claremore Regional Airport (GCM) with about 90 gallons of fuel. He reported that about 35 minutes after departure, while in cruise flight at 2,000 ft, he heard the low rotor speed warning horn. The pilot stated that the engine’s free turbine speed (Nf) and the main rotor speed (Nr) were less than normal, and that he reduced collective and moved the cyclic control aft to stabilize the main rotor speed. The pilot identified a suitable landing area and made a right turn toward an open field. However, the pilot entered an autorotation before reaching the intended field because the main rotor speed continued to decrease. A main rotor blade struck the tail boom when the helicopter landed hard in a residential backyard.

A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed proper flight control continuity and engine control continuity. Fuel samples taken from the fuel service truck used to refuel the helicopter before the flight and from the helicopter after the accident were free of contamination and exhibited a light straw color consistent with Jet-A aviation fuel. The helicopter and its engine were retained for additional examinations and testing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Eurocopter
Registration: N421PB
Model/Series: EC120 B 
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: UKL,1174 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 13.2 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.7 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Topeka, KS (TOP)
Destination: Claremore, OK (GCM)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 38.095955,-95.634504 (est)

Two people in a helicopter were unhurt after an emergency landing in the town of LeRoy on Friday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the helicopter, piloted by 64-year-old Tereso Orozco of Topeka, was flying near LeRoy but the rotorcraft lost power around 11:30 am, Orozco safely brought the helicopter down in a yard at 1810 C.

Both Orozco and his passenger, 48-year-old Kenneth Norman of Sunnyvale, Texas, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the incident.

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