Sunday, July 11, 2021

Continental Copters El Tomcat Mk VI-C, N41830: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

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; Louisville, Kentucky

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Franklin, Kentucky
Accident Number: ERA19TA213
Date & Time: July 8, 2019, 11:12 Local
Registration: N41830
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural


The helicopter pilot of the aerial application flight departed from the rooftop helipad of a truck to spray a field. He reported that as the helicopter turned, descended, and leveled off, he realized that the main rotor rpm began to decay. The pilot increased throttle, lowered the collective, and applied aft cyclic to increase rotor rpm; however, the tailboom contacted the ground and the helicopter rolled inverted, which resulted in substantial damage. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter.

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 main rotor rpm after takeoff, which resulted in a collision with terrain.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Prop/rotor parameters - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

On July 8, 2019, about 1112 central daylight time, a Continental Copters Tomcat MK6C, N41830, was substantially damaged while maneuvering near Franklin, Kentucky. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The local aerial application flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed a field near Franklin, Kentucky, about 1110.

The pilot stated that after 50 gallons of chemical and 5 gallons of fuel were added to the helicopter, he departed from a rooftop helipad of a truck in light and variable wind, to spray a field. As the helicopter turned, descended and leveled off to spray the field, the pilot realized that the main rotor rpm began to decay. He increased throttle, lowered the collective, and applied aft cyclic to increase rotor rpm, however, the tailboom contacted the ground and the helicopter rolled inverted. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed damage to the main rotor blades, tailrotor, fuselage, and tailboom.

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Uncontrolled descent Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 35,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 4, 2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 4, 2019
Flight Time: 2128 hours (Total, all aircraft), 29 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N41830
Model/Series: TOMCAT MK6C
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special)
Serial Number: CCI-73-2
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 23, 2018
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 128 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6549 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycomig
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: VO-435
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 250 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Tri State Helicopters Inc Operator Designator Code: TCSG

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BWG,547 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:04 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 30°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2100 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft AGL 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Franklin, KY 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Franklin, KY
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 11:10 Local
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 36.68111,-86.631111

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