Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bell 407, N999GH: Accident occurred May 11, 2022 in Livermore, Alameda County, California

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 Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Location: Livermore, California
Accident Number: WPR22LA174
Date and Time: May 11, 2022, 09:30 Local 
Registration: N999GH
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft ext. load

On May 11, 2022, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, a Bell Helicopter Textron Canada 407, N999GH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Livermore California. The pilot was seriously injured, and the lineman crew member sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 rotorcraft external-load flight.

The pilot was performing a human external cargo (HEC) long-line qualification flight, at the Livermore Electric Safety Academy, a training operations facility owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

The pilot stated that the first 20 minutes of the flight were normal, and the accident occurred during the final phase, while carrying a PG&E lineman on a 60-ft long line. The pilot was maneuvering the helicopter at an altitude of about 175 ft agl, positioning the lineman against a static line marker ball. The pilot reported that the engine then lost power, and he rolled the throttle out of the “fly” detent and into the emergency range, but the engine did not respond.

He attempted to maneuver the lineman into a clearing, and partially raised the collective once the lineman was about 15 ft agl, to cushion his landing. The pilot stated that he then maneuvered the helicopter to a landing spot away from the linemen, and after reaching an altitude of about 10 ft agl, he raised the collective and jettisoned the HEC line and cargo hooks, and the helicopter landed hard. The pilot stated that the engine was still running after landing, and he was able to then shutoff the main fuel valve and battery. He was extricated from the helicopter about 30 minutes later. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N999GH
Model/Series: 407 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft external load (133)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLVK,393 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Livermore, CA
Destination: Livermore, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 37.699413,-121.70852 

Rotorcraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 11-MAY-22
Time: 17:22:00Z
Regis#: N999GH
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 407
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Operation: 91

LIVERMORE, California - A helicopter crashed Wednesday morning in a parking lot next to the PG&E Livermore Electric Safety Academy, injuring the pilot and causing significant damage to the chopper, officials said.

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Battalion Chief Jim Artman said that the pilot had to be extricated and was taken to a trauma center. A PG&E employee, who had been tethered to the outside of the aircraft during the training, was walking around after the accident and was hospitalized as a precaution. 

Neither injury is expected to be life-threatening, according to PG&E. 

There were no other injuries or people involved. 

According to the FAA, the A Bell 407 helicopter went down at 10 a.m. at 7205 National Drive, which is a training center for the utility. 

It's unclear what went wrong. 

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. 

Aerial video showed the helicopter on the pavement and firefighters and emergency crews surrounding it. 

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said it was a "contractor helicopter" and that there was no property damage on the ground. 

The Livermore training center is a 35-acre campus 45 miles east of San Francisco that features outdoor boot camp-like challenges.

PG&E workers learn to climb 40-foot wooden poles and also fly in helicopters to look at snowpacks, among other things. 

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