Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Hard Landing: Hiller UH-12E4, N64741; accident occurred February 09, 2022 near Shoestring Aviation Airfield (0P2), Stewartstown, York County, Pennsylvania

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; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania 
Accident Number: ERA22LA118
Date and Time: February 9, 2022, 16:20 Local 
Registration: N64741
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12E4 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, during a short local flight while approaching to land, he encountered a descent rate that was unsuitable for landing. He attempted to correct for the rate of descent but was unsuccessful after pulling full collective pitch. The helicopter impacted the ground and rolled on to its right side, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage. He stated that he may have encountered a condition called “settling with power” during his approach to land due to the winds.

The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies that would have prevented 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 control during the descent which resulted in a hard landing.


Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Aircraft Descent rate - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Delayed action - Pilot
Environmental issues Variable wind - Awareness of condition

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 30, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: September 30, 2021
Flight Time: 155 hours (Total, all aircraft), 155 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Hiller 
Registration: N64741
Model/Series: UH-12E4 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 2189
Landing Gear Type: None; Skid 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 18, 2020 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 150 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: O-540
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 310 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 5 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 25 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 60° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / -6.7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Churchville, MD (OW3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Shrewsbury, PA 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 14:10 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1000 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 06U 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1000 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.796254,-76.646393

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