Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Eurocopter-Kawasaki BK-117B-2, N370SS: Accident occurred May 13, 2022 and Incident occurred June 04, 2020

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; Rochester, New York
Airbus Helicopters; Grand Prairie, Texas

Mercy Flight Central Holding LLC


Location: Rochester, New York
Accident Number: ERA22LA229
Date and Time: May 13, 2022, 21:00 Local
Registration: N370SS
Aircraft: MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOW-BLOHM BK 117 B-2 
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Unspecified)

On May 13, 2022, about 2100 eastern daylight time, a Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BK117 B2 helicopter, N370SS, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Strong Memorial Hospital Heliport, Rochester, New York. The commercial pilot and two crewmembers were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air ambulance flight.

The pilot reported that he landed on the helipad and moved his left hand from the collective to the power levers. He said the crew was ready to go and entered the helicopter shortly after landing. Once the crew entered the helicopter and “buckled in”, the pilot “moved light switches to on and began to move the “Hat” to adjust the lights on the rooftop in front of me.” The pilot stated that his right hand was in control of the cyclic at that time, there was a loud “bang”, and he subsequently noticed the rod from the wire cutter bouncing back and forth. The pilot immediately shut down the engine and the crew exited the helicopter.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial structural damage to the main rotor blades and the wire cutter.

The helicopter was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOWBLOHM
Registration: N370SS
Model/Series: BK 117 B-2 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code: 2SNA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: ROC,554 ft msl
Observation Time: 20:45 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25.6°C /13.9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: IndefiniteVV
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.74 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Rochester, NY
Destination: Rochester, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.123253,-77.624122 (est)

May 13, 2022: Rotorcraft experienced a rotor blade strike while on the helipad at Strong Memorial Hospital Heliport (2NY5), Rochester, New York.

Date: 13-MAY-22
Time: 21:54:00Z
Regis#: N370SS
Aircraft Make: MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOW-BLOHM
Aircraft Model: BK 117 B-2
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: AMBULANCE
Flight Phase: MANEUVERING (MNV)
City: ROCHESTER
State: NEW YORK

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York

June 04, 2020:  Rotorcraft made precautionary landing in field due to tail rotor chip indicator.

Mercy Flight Central Holding LLC

Date: 04-JUN-20
Time: 17:45:00Z
Regis#: N370SS
Aircraft Make: KAWASAKI
Aircraft Model: BK117
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: EMERGENCY DESCENT (EMG)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: MERCY FLIGHT CENTRAL
Flight Number: LCNTRL2
City: SYRACUSE
State: NEW YORK

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