Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Dynamic Rollover: Robinson R44 II, N929WA; accident occurred February 17, 2022 in White Plains, Westchester County, New York

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; Farmingdale, New York

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Wings Air Helicopters LLC

Location: White Plains, New York
Accident Number: ERA22LA135
Date and Time: February 17, 2022, 10:00 Local
Registration: N929WA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Dynamic rollover 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning


The commercial helicopter pilot was attempting to land on a mobile landing platform in gusty conditions. As the helicopter settled down onto the helipad, the skids contacted the pad unevenly, which caused it to tilt to the right. The pilot attempted to correct and lowered the collective, but the helicopter rapidly entered a dynamic rollover and struck the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, mast, and main rotor blades. The pilot reported that there were no 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 stabilized lateral control during landing in gusty conditions which resulted in a dynamic rollover when the skids contacted the platform unevenly. 


Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Aircraft Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground
Landing Dynamic rollover (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine sea 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 5, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: December 15, 2021
Flight Time: 4844 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1684 hours (Total, this make and model), 4807 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 72.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 27.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N929WA
Model/Series: R44 II 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 14233
Landing Gear Type: Skid 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 7, 2021 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1791.4 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 260 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HPN,367 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 09:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 278°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: New York, NY (6N5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: White Plains, NY 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 09:52 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 439 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used:
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.066953,-73.707566

1 comment:

  1. I hope it was not one of the "-40e" series engines that Lycoming has had so much trouble with in the Robinson helicopters. If so, then there could be more to the story.