Thursday, October 07, 2021

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III, N373SP: Accident occurred October 06, 2021 near Louisiana Regional Airport (KREG), Gonzales, Ascension 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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Gatineau
Bell; Fort Worth, Texas

Louisiana State Police
Louisiana Department of Public Safety


Location: Gonzales, LA
Accident Number: CEN22LA009
Date & Time: October 6, 2021, 14:15 Local
Registration: N373SP
Aircraft: Bell 206B 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Public aircraft

On October 6, 2021, about 1415 central daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N373SP, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Gonzales, Louisiana. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was operated as a public aircraft flight.

The pilot of the Louisiana State Police Air Support Unit helicopter reported that while on the downwind leg to land to runway 35 at the Louisiana Regional Airport (REG), Gonzales, Louisiana, he completed the before landing checks. The pilot then reduced the power and began to slow the helicopter to about 60 knots. After completing the base leg, he maneuvered the helicopter for final while at 400 ft agl. The pilot applied a small amount of power to sustain the desired approach angle. While at 40 knots and 175 ft agl, the helicopter started to yaw to the right. The pilot applied left pedal and the helicopter continued to yaw to the right.

The pilot observed the trim indicator and confirmed that the helicopter was in trim, however he still had to apply left pedal. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter “aggressively” yawed to the right. The pilot applied forward cyclic input and the helicopter rolled to the left while it continued to rotate “very aggressively” to the right. The pilot attempted to regain control using cyclic input, however he was unable. The pilot decreased the throttle to idle, the helicopter began to settle, and he applied collective input to cushion the landing. The helicopter came to rest partially upright on the grass, with the skids split, about 200 ft short of the approach end of the runway. The pilot performed an emergency shutdown and was able to egress from the helicopter without further incident.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system, the fuselage, the tailboom, and the tail rotor system. The wreckage was recovered for a future examination of the airframe and engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N373SP
Model/Series: 206B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KREG,15 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C /18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 30°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4300 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Baton Rouge, LA (BTR)
Destination: Gonzales, LA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 30.164095,-90.939111 (est)

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