Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Ground Collision: Bell 407, N662RL; accident occurred September 25, 2021 at Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport (KPTN), Patterson, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana

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; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Rotorcraft Leasing Company LLC

Location: Patterson, Louisiana 
Accident Number: CEN21LA456
Date and Time: September 25, 2021, 06:55 Local 
Registration: N662RL
Aircraft: Bell 407
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground collision
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled


While hovering from the helicopter pad to reposition for takeoff, the pilot backed up the helicopter. During a pedal turn, the tail rotor contacted another helicopter’s main rotor blades, which was parked and located behind on another pad. The pilot reported she felt a strong jolt to the left, and the helicopter began to spin. The pilot lowered the collective, reduced throttle, and the helicopter came to rest upright adjacent to the helicopter pad.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom. The operator reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

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 parked helicopter while hovering to reposition for takeoff. 


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Aircraft - Awareness of condition

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-into takeoff position Ground collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 25,Female
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 8, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 1, 2021
Flight Time: 1479 hours (Total, all aircraft), 255 hours (Total, this make and model), 1479 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 142 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 36 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N662RL
Model/Series: 407 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1997 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 53203
Landing Gear Type: None; Skid
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 24, 2021 AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5250 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Turbo shaft
Airframe Total Time: 25222 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls Royce
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 250-C30
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 650 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)
Operator Does Business As: RLC, LLC
Operator Designator Code: YTRA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPTN,9 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 07:01 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 18°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 200 ft AGL 
Visibility 0.25 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - None - Mist
Departure Point: Patterson, LA 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 8 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.709043,-91.335891(est)

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