Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Controlled Flight Into Terrain: Schweizer 269C, N298TH; accident occurred June 21, 2020 in Sheffield, Pecos County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Sheffield, TX
Accident Number: CEN20CA240
Date & Time: 06/21/2020, 0815 CDT
Registration: N298TH
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries:1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation


The pilot reported that he was hovering low to the ground, near a fence line, inspecting water and grass on his property. The helicopter drifted during the hover and right skid struck the fence. The helicopter rolled to the right and impacted the terrain, resulting in substantial damage to main rotor blades, main rotor drive system, windshield, and door post.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance from a fence while hovering.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-hover Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer
Registration: N298TH
Model/Series: 269C Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number:S1758 
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/29/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 14 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1440.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: HIO-360-D1A
Registered Owner: Dutton Snubber Inc
Rated Power: 190 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Sheffield, TX (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Sheffield, TX (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G  

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 30.653889, -101.787500

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