ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 145069
Last updated: 1 March 2017
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Narrative:On April 14, 2012, about 18:40 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), a Robinson R22 helicopter, N1152W, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and subsequent uncontrolled descent while approaching South Meadows Heliport (CT73), Farmington, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot and a passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Chester Airport (SNC), Chester, Connecticut, around 17:40 EDT, with the intended destination of South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73). The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
Robinson R22 Beta II
|C/n / msn:|| 2835|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Substantial|
|Location:||Near Meadow Road and Meadow Lane, Farmington, Connecticut -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Chester Airport, Chester, Connecticut (SNC/KSNC)|
|Destination airport:||South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73)|
|Investigating agency: ||National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America |
According to the pilot, the helicopter departed Chester Airport, Chester, Connecticut (SNC) after it was serviced with 17 gallons of fuel. He completed a scenic flight lasting approximately one hour, before returning for landing at South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73). The heliport was a small paved pad on the east side of a large open field, surrounded by tall trees.
The approach was from the southeast on a northwesterly heading, and according to the pilot, the windsock "indicated a wind direction opposite" to the helicopterís flight path. He then initiated a turn to "enter the landing area" when he felt a bump in the tail rotor control [pedals]. The pilot added that he applied left pedal to compensate for a right yaw, and the helicopter immediately "started to rotate" at an increasing yaw rate with full left pedal applied. The pilot stated that the rotation stopped when he pushed the collective control "full down" and applied aft cyclic. The helicopter then descended through the trees and collided with terrain.
A witness at the heliport heard the helicopter approach and described the sound as "all fine." She said the sound changed, and then she heard a loud bang.
In a written statement, the pilot stated that the initial approach to South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73) was from the east to the west along an east-west road that was south of the field. He then turned the helicopter to the northwest "into the wind." However, examination of radar data revealed that the helicopter approached from the southwest, orbited an airport 2 miles south of South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73), and approached the helipad from the south. The helicopter was in a shallow, descending left turn to the northwest at 90 knots groundspeed, about 1 mile south of South Meadows Heliport, Farmington, Connecticut (CT73) when the radar track terminated. From the point where the radar track terminated, a right turn to the north was required to align with the landing zone. The helicopter descended vertically through trees to ground contact about one-half mile directly south of the helipad.
PROBABLE CAUSE: The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's inadequate compensation for wind during a high-power, low-speed downwind turn, which resulted in a loss of control due to loss of tail rotor effectiveness and settling with power. Contributing to the accident was the pilotís decision to land downwind.
1. NTSB Identification: ERA12LA282 at http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20120415X85058&ntsbno=ERA12LA282&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=1152W
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