Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Bell 429 GlobalRanger, N507TJ: Fatal accident occurred April 26, 2022 in Elba, Genesee County, New York

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York
Federal Aviation Administration Accident Investigation & Prevention; Haslet, Texas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Gatineau, Québec, Canada
Mercy Flight Inc; Buffalo, New York
Bell Helicopters; Québec, Canada
Pratt and Whitney Canada; Québec

Mercy Flight Inc


Location: Elba, New York 
Accident Number: ERA22FA207
Date and Time: April 26, 2022, 13:00 Local
Registration: N507TJ
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 429
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On April 26, 2022, at 1300 eastern daylight time, a Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 429, N507TJ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Elba, New York. The instructor pilot and company pilot were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

A representative of the operator, Mercy Flight Inc., stated that the instructional flight was a flight review being conducted by the helicopter manufacturer’s flight instructor with multiple flight reviews planned throughout the day; the accident flight was the second flight of the day.

Preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the flight departed Genesee County Airport (GVQ) Batavia, New York about 1110 and performed multiple maneuvers in the immediate vicinity of the airport before departing to the east.

About 20 minutes later, the helicopter returned to the airport and performed additional maneuvers in the airport traffic pattern for about 30 minutes before again departing the traffic pattern. Shortly after, the helicopter climbed to 2,600 ft mean sea level (msl) at 70 knots while on a track of 069° magnetic. Over the next 40 seconds, the helicopter descended to 1,900 ft msl at 94 knots as it entered a right turn, completing an oval ground track as it climbed and leveled at 2,450 ft msl and 55 knots for several seconds, before descending to 1,975 ft msl (1,227 ft above ground level) while maintaining between 20 and 13 knots.

Several eyewitnesses observed and heard the helicopter flying overhead before to the accident. One stated that he observed the helicopter “almost stationary” after it flew over, and then as it started to fly away, he heard a loud “bang”, and the helicopter began to descend out of control. An additional witness stated that the helicopter was hovering before it “fell apart” with the fuselage falling separately and another witness stated she did not see the helicopter but heard what sounded like an engine making a “whooshing” sound, then “three loud and rapid cracks” in succession. She further stated that she heard the helicopter impact the ground and heard the rotor blades striking the ground rapidly.

The helicopter fuselage containing the cockpit, engine, transmission, and rotor assembly struck electrical distribution wires as it impacted the terrain at an elevation of about 1,220 ft msl. The helicopter came to rest on its left side and a small post-crash fire developed but was quickly extinguished by first responders. The wreckage path was about 1,900 ft long and oriented in a direction of 250°. The tail boom, containing the tail rotor, drive shaft, vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer remained largely intact and was discovered about 390 ft from the main wreckage, on a heading of about 075°. A section of the tail boom and carbon fiber tail rotor shaft was discovered 1,620 ft and 072° from the main wreckage; it exhibited an angled fracture line consistent with main rotor blade contact.

All four main rotor blades were separated from the main rotor head and discovered within 550 ft northwest of the main wreckage. The span of all four blades were recovered. The cyclic and collective push-pull tubes were traced to their respective control inputs and actuators. Fractures in the system were consistent with overload. Control continuity was confirmed for both collective and cyclic controls.

The main rotor drive system gear box remained partially attached to the airframe with both left and right longitudinal pitch restraints separated from their respective stops. Both input driveshafts could be manually rotated counterclockwise in the freewheeling direction but could not be manually rotated in the clockwise direction, likely due to impact damage.

The tail rotor input controls were physically actuated confirming control continuity. The tail rotor drive shaft remained connected to the main gearbox but was fractured about midway to blower. 

Both engines were located within the main wreckage. Examination revealed damage consistent with impact damage. The engine switches in the cockpit located in the center below the glare-shield exhibited minor deformation. The No. 1 engine switch was undamaged and functioned smoothly. It was discovered in the “OFF” position. The No. 2 engine switch was slightly bent and was discovered in the “ON” position.

Multiple electronic recording devices were removed from the wreckage and retained for download of the non-volatile memory. The remaining wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA
Registration: N507TJ
Model/Series: 429 NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ROC,540 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Batavia, NY (CVQ)
Destination: Elba, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 43.063838,-78.139356

Rotorcraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Date: 26-APR-22
Time: 14:00:00Z
Regis#: N507TJ
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 429
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal 
Pax: 1 Fatal 
Activity: OTHER
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Operator: MERCY FLIGHT
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: DESTROYED
City: ELBA
State: NEW YORK

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

James Sauer
~

**UPDATE** Important information regarding tomorrow's (May 2nd) Funeral of James Sauer, Mercy Flight Pilot:

At the request of the family and in response to many inquiries, they have asked that the route from the funeral home to the church be publicized so that those who wish may line up along the route to pay their respects to Jim. The route is as follows:

- At approximately 11:45 A.M. leave Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, 735 East Avenue, Hilton, New York

- Take East Avenue into Hilton Village - left on Route 259

- Route 259 (15 miles) – left on Bowen Road

- (.7 miles) turn right on Stottle Road

- (450 Feet) Turn left on Stryker Road

- (.7 miles) Turn left on Scottsville-Chili Road to the Open Door Baptist Church

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR FIRE DEPARTMENTS, EMS AGENCIES, AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS REGARDING FUNERAL SERVICES FOR MERCY FLIGHT PILOT, JAMES SAUER

WHAT:    Funeral Services for James Sauer, Mercy Flight pilot, who lost his life while on a training exercise Tuesday 4/26

WHERE:  Open Door Baptist Church, 350 Chili Scottsville Road, Churchville, New York at 1:00 P.M.

WHEN:  Monday, May 2, 2022

HOW:  All fire departments, EMS agencies, and police departments are asked to arrive at the church no later than 11:30 A.M. in Class A uniform (preferred) or department uniform. Please, no heavy apparatus due to space constraints. Chief’s vehicles are acceptable. Car-pooling is encouraged. 

All agencies/departments are asked to RSVP their attendance, via text, to Thomas LaBelle at 716.444.9266 with their agency or department name and number attending.

Thank you.




ELBA, New York (WKBW) — 7 News has learned that the FAA issued a report on Tuesday, the same day of the deadly helicopter crash in Elba, stating that parts of certain Bell Model 429 helicopters were considered in "unsafe condition." That's the same model that crashed Tuesday killing experienced pilots, James Sauer and Stewart Dietrich.

The report, or Airworthiness Directive (AD) states:

"This AD was prompted by a report of a worn pitch link, and the FAA's determination that all TR pitch link assemblies are affected by the unsafe condition. This AD continues to require the actions specified in AD 2019-11-05, and revises the applicability and requires inspections of certain other TR pitch link assemblies. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products."

On Friday the FAA told 7 News:

"The Airworthiness Directive [federalregister.gov] involves bearings and other components in the tail rotor linkage that were showing unusual wear. It instructs operators to inspect the bearing and associated linkage, and to replace the parts if necessary."

"As part of the ongoing accident investigation, the NTSB will determine whether this inspection was completed on the accident aircraft."

On Wednesday NTSB Air Safety Investigator, Aaron McCarter said the helicopter's tail boom, which contains the tail rotor, was found 300 feet away from the main wreckage. The tail rotor keeps the helicopter's nose pointed in the right direction.
The AD also said failure to address the issues cited, could lead to loss of control.

The NTSB said a preliminary report on the investigation will be released on Friday, May 6. A final report could take up to a year.

McCarter said most of the work gets done when the on-scene portion is over. The remnants will be moved to Delaware to be further investigated by the NTSB. He said the helicopter departed Batavia around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, and around 1 p.m. is when several witnesses saw it hovering at 2,000 feet above ground, before it crashed.

McCarter said there was no black box, but data analysis will help investigators learn more.

Sauer and Dietrich, were both 60-years-old. Dietrich was a Bell pilot from Prosper, Texas.

Sauer was a well known first responder who served in the United States Army. His obituary states he had "multiple deployments including Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Restore Hope, Desert Storm and others."

Sauer also served as a police officer in the Rochester and Holley Police Departments. He also served as a volunteer firefighter, along with the New York State Department, and the New York Army National Guard, where he was a pilot for 40 years. He joined Mercy Flight recently to be a pilot.

Sauer was a loved husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather to six grandchildren. Multiple friends and colleagues told 7 News that Sauer was "the best," and was dedicated to his community.

Sauer's funeral service will be held on Monday, May 2, at 1 p.m. at the Open Door Baptist Church, 350 Scottsville-Chili Road, Churchville.

Donations can be made in memory of James to the Open Door Baptist Church.



Aaron McCarter
Air Safety Investigator · National Transportation Safety Board
~


The Mercy Flight helicopter that crashed Tuesday in a field in rural Genesee County, killing two seasoned pilots, was traveling at an altitude of about 2,000 feet when, according to witnesses, there was a "large boom and they saw the helicopter fall from the sky," a National Transportation Safety Board investigator said Wednesday.

The tail separated from the main body of the helicopter and was found about 300 feet away from the main wreckage, which would indicate the aircraft was falling apart before it hit the ground.

Two people aboard a Mercy Flight helicopter died in a crash about 1 p.m. in Elba in Genesee County, state police said.

Multiple investigations are underway into the crash of the medical air ambulance that was on a routine training exercise when it fell to the ground in the Town of Elba.

It is far too early to determine a cause, but NTSB Investigator Aaron McCarter said some information has already come to light:

The helicopter, a Bell 429, a model commonly used for medical transportation, was on a training exercise Tuesday morning.

The aircraft took off from Genesee County Airport at about 11:15 a.m. The crash was reported at about 1 p.m.

Preliminary satellite data showed the helicopter was flying at about 2,000 feet most of the time it was in the air.

The aircraft was doing "pattern work," doing rectangles and other patterns, McCarter said, which would be typical for a training exercise.

They do not yet know who was flying the rotorcraft.

The wreckage was spread out over 2,000 feet on the ground.

"The main portion was fairly intact, although severely damaged," McCarter said.

There was a small fire burning when first responders arrived. That was quickly extinguished.

Both of the pilots were deceased when they were found, McCarter said.

The two pilots on board were previously identified as James E. Sauer, 60, of Churchville, and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas. Sauer was a Mercy Flight pilot, and Dietrick was an employee and pilot with Bell Helicopter.

No other people were on board and no one on the ground was hurt.

McCarter said the investigations were just starting. In addition to the NTSB, officials with the Federal Aviation Authority and representatives from Bell Helicopter were on scene to help.

He said the NTSB would be on the scene for three to five days to document the wreckage, talk to witnesses and to retrieve data from the helicopter's data recorder. The aircraft doesn't have a "black box," but the data recorders often have information that can be helpful in a crash investigation.

"The on-scene part is a very small part of the investigation," McCarter said. "Most of the work happens behind the scene."

He said investigators will remove the wreckage and reconstruct the helicopter in a hangar to try to literally piece together what happened. He said to expect a preliminary report in 10 days, and then a full report in about 12 months.

The investigation will focus on three parts, McCarter said. "The human, the machine and the environment."

McCarter pointed out that both of the pilots had a lot of professional flying experience.

"But what was their familiarity with the machine?" he asked.

He said investigators would look at the weather, but all indications are that conditions were mild. The National Weather Service said it was overcast with temperatures in the upper 40s, with winds of about 13 mph.

They will also look at possible problems with the aircraft itself, which would include physically examining the pieces and also researching maintenance.

McCarter said that the tail, which was found separated from the main wreckage, is a critical part of a helicopter.

"If it loses a tail rotor, that's what keeps the nose pointed in the correct direction," he said.

The tail rotor keeps the fuselage from spinning in the opposite direction of the main rotor, McCarter added.

"A helicopter has a lot of moving parts," he said.

State Police escorted journalists to the crash site Wednesday afternoon. Most of the helicopter was on the ground close to Norton Road. The tail was about 300 feet away in a farm field.  

Tuesday's crash is the third Bell 429 helicopter accident to occur in New York State in the last seven months, and the second in Genesee County. It is the second fatal helicopter accident in the U.S. in the last year involving a Bell 429, after a Duke Energy worker died in April 2021. According to the United States Helicopter Safety Team website, there were 35 fatal helicopter accidents in the U.S. in 2021 and 32 in 2020.

Ron Goldman, an attorney with Los Angeles-based Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, who has been involved in multiple lawsuits involving helicopter crashes, said that a day after a crash is always too early to jump to conclusions.

But, he said, it stood out to him that the two people aboard the helicopter were both "really experienced pilots."

"It's hard to swallow that there's pilot error in this case," Goldman said. "... You have two experienced pilots doing recurrent training. Unless somebody did something that is off the charts, there shouldn't be an accident here. But we don't know what happened. One has to be suspicious of some kind of mechanical failure in an event like this."

Goldman is not involved in the Elba accident, but was speaking as an expert on helicopter incidents. He is currently representing the family of Buffalo businessman Mark Croce, who died in a helicopter crash in Pennsylvania in 2020.

He said that the wreckage site would provide many clues to what happened.

"If they found stuff that's more than X number of yards away, then you have to start worrying: Was there a break up mid-flight? Does it look like a break up caused by stressors on the way down?" Goldman said.

"Every one of these pieces is a puzzle, and the pieces of the puzzle have to be brought together," he said.



Elba, New York — New York State Police released the identities of the two men killed when a Mercy Flight helicopter crashed during a training exercise Tuesday in the town of Elba, Genesee County.

Both of the victims died at the scene.

They have been identified as Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer, 60, of Churchville and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60. He was a Bell Helicopter Flight instructor pilot from Prosper, Texas.

Sauer was a retired New York State Police civilian pilot and spent 40 years as a pilot with the New York State Army National Guard.

Sauer took his final flight as an Army aviator in August 2020. 13WHAM met him and his family at the Rochester Airport when he touched down.

In a statement sent out by the Mercy Flight Executive Vice President Scott Wooton said, “Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations in order to allow time for our employees to process the event, and to ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation. The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational and will refer any requests to other area resources who are standing by to assist.”

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy," said Margaret Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s President in a statement sent out Tuesday evening.

"This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support expressed by many.”

Mercy Flight Central's Senior Director of Development Jasmine DiSalvo sent a statement to 13WHAM about the incident earlier Tuesday afternoon.

"Mercy Flight Central has been made aware of a helicopter crash in Western New York. At this time, all Mercy Flight Central aircraft and personnel are accounted for. Our thoughts are with all those involved."

Batavia State Troopers responded to the crash near Norton Road at about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The training flight took off from Batavia Airport, according to Major Eugene Staniszewski, Troop E Commander.

The cause of the accident has not been determined. FAA, NTSB, Bell Helicopter and Underwriter Accident Investigation teams are responding to the scene.



ELBA, New York — New York State Police are investigating a deadly crash in Genesee County involving a Mercy Flight helicopter.

Troopers say the crash happened in the Town of Elba near Norton Road around 1 p.m. Two people were in the helicopter at the time of the crash. Both were killed.

The victims have been identified as Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer, 60, Churchville, New York and Bell Helicopter Flight instructor/pilot Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas.

Mercy flight said Sauer is a retired NYS Police Pilot, who began working with Mercy Flight in October 2020.

Mercy Flight released this statement:

At approximately 1:00 p.m EST today, the Mercy Flight Communications Center was notified that aMercy Flight helicopter had sustained an accident in the area of Elba, NY in Genesee County during Mercy Flight’s annual Bell Helicopter factory training. 

Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer and a Bell Helicopter Flight instructor perished in the accident.  Mr. Sauer, a retired NYS Police Pilot, began working with Mercy  Flight in October 2020. 

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy.  This is a very dark day for the  Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern, and support expressed by many,” said Margaret  Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s  President.  

“Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations in order to allow time for our employees to process the event, and to ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation. The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational and will refer any requests to other area resources who are standing by to assist,” states Scott Wooton,  Mercy Flight’s Executive Vice  President.   

The cause of the accident has not been determined. FAA, NTSB, Bell  Helicopter and Underwriter  Accident Investigation teams are responding to the scene. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

According to New York State Major Eugene Staniszewski the helicopter had taken off for a training mission from the Batavia airport before the crash happened. It's unclear at this time why the helicopter crashed.

Staniszewski says New York State Police are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

"At this point it's very preliminary where we're at with this investigation. We cannot confirm anything as to why the helicopter went down," Staniszewski said.

The crash happened 3.1 miles from the airport where the helicopter was based near Batavia and there was downed power lines near the wreckage but NYSP does not believe that was the cause of the crash but may have been wrapped in the helicopter as it went down.

The helicopter was a town-engine Bell 429 and which is the model type for most of the fleet for Mercy Flight, they updated their fleet within the last decade.

Kaleida Health issued this statement following the accident: 

“We are aware of the tragic accident involving a Mercy Flight helicopter that crashed today in the Town of Elba in Genesee County. Our hospital transport teams were not impacted by the crash. 

At this time, we understand that Mercy Flight services are grounded. Patient transports to our facilities will continue by ground as usual.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Mercy Flight team and their loved ones. Kaleida Health will remain focused on supporting our partners at Mercy Flight as this investigation unfolds.”









A Mercy Flight helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon in Elba, Genesee County, killing two people on board, according to New York State Police.

Troopers confirmed that the medical helicopter on a training flight at the time, crashed near Norton Road, between Edgerton and Ford roads, around 1 p.m.  

"At this point we don't know why the helicopter went down," Major Eugene Staniszewski said at an afternoon news conference near the crash site.

The two pilots on board — James E. Sauer, 60, of Churchville, a Mercy Flight pilot and a retired New York State Police civilian pilot and Bell Helicopter employee and flight instructor Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas — were both pronounced dead at the scene, according to State Police. Their bodies were transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

Sauer started working for Mercy Flight in October 2020, according to the Mercy Flight.

The marked Mercy Flight Bell 429 helicopter took off from the Genesee County Airport in Batavia and later crashed in Elba for an unknown reason. Staniszewski said he did not know the flight plan or where the helicopter was heading when its flight path abruptly ended.

He also said that while the aircraft may have collided with power lines as crashed, the wires did not appear to be what caused the crash.

Troopers are interviewing several people who witnessed the crash and neighbors on the road, he said. 

Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations to allow employees to process the event, and also to "ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation," Mercy Flight's executive vice-president Scott Wooton said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational, Wooton said, and will refer requests to other agencies who are ready to assist.

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy," Margaret Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s President said in a statement released Tuesday evening. "This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family. We are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support expressed by many."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were both called to the scene to investigate. Genesee County sheriff's deputies and firefighters from Batavia and Elba also responded the the emergency call.

Elba is about 25 miles west of Rochester.

Mercy Flight EMS is a not-for-profit medical transport service that services western New York, including the Rochester region, as well as parts of northwestern Pennsylvania and Canada. 

The Buffalo-based service has numerous flight bases around western New York. According to the Mercy Flight website, its flight headquarters is in Batavia, Genesee County. Staniszewski said the involved helicopter was from the Batavia Mercy Flight base.

Investigations on fatal aviation crashes typically take months to complete. Staniszewski said that he expected authorities would be on scene Tuesday and into Wednesday.

8 comments:

  1. Adsbexchange got a good track recording:

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a655a3&lat=43.060&lon=-78.143&zoom=15.3&showTrace=2022-04-26&trackLabels&timestamp=1650992370

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ground elevation at last ADSBx data point location:
      Latitude: 43.064 | Longitude: -78.139
      Elevation: 231 meters / 758 feet.

      From (Thanks go out to GBear for providing the lookup link!)
      https://www.gps-coordinates.net/map/country/US

      Delete
  2. The NTSB investigator in-charge (IIC) stated that the helicopter was flying for about 105 minutes doing pattern work when witnesses observed the helicopter at an altitude of 2,000 feet, heard a loud boom and saw it fall. The wreckage is spread out an area of about 2,000 feet. The tail separated from the main body of the helicopter and was found about 300 feet away from the main wreckage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the tail separated from the main body" ... hummm. And was found 300 feet away from the wreckage in a field. Have a good look at the one photo of the crash where the tail boom is sawed in half.

      Start doing the simple math here.

      Delete
  3. An accident a while back in South Africa involving a Bell 430 had similar circumstances ... the tail was also found about 300 feet from the wreckage. This is the preliminary report http://www.caa.co.za/Accidents%20and%20Incidents%20Reports/ZT-RRT.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  4. A CAROL advanced search for aircraft make contains Bell and aircraft model contains 429 gives one result, changing make from Bell to Textron returns six results, including the one from the Bell search. Of the six:

    N920PD & N505TJ preliminary reports are without content but N505TJ's 6120.1 in docket describes night descent into fog. N53DE preliminary noted a loud pop during a banking turn, N598PB final report attributed to night IMC, N917PD's final report described pilot mis-control while completing an upslope landing.

    That leaves N429AR, where tail rotor pitch change links were the focus, leading to AD's requiring periodic inspection.
    Final Report:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/91900/pdf
    Docket:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=91900

    Details, with photos:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/Document/docBLOB?ID=40449884&FileExtension=.PDF&FileName=Helicopter%20Specialist%27s%20Factual%20Report-Master.PDF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pitch link's failed banjo end shown in the "Helicopter Specialist Factual Report-Master.PDF" from N429AR docket is aluminum. Seems like the banjo end material ought to be stronger so that a binding or corroding spherical bearing interface won't break the banjo hoop and disconnect the link.

      Maybe add a steel band in a groove around the outside surface of a redesigned banjo end to "barrel band" reinforce the end.

      Delete
  5. Horrible. These pilots fly people who are in need of life saving medical attention to hospitals.

    ReplyDelete