National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

Lake City, AR

Accident Number:

CEN13LA359

Date & Time:

06/19/2013, 1620 CDT

Registration:

N467AE

Aircraft:

BELL 206 - L4

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of engine power (partial)

Injuries:

3 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Discretionary)

Analysis

The pilot stated he was on final approach to a private helipad about 80 to 100 feet above the ground at an airspeed of 40 knots when the engine lost partial power. He lowered the collective and touched down short of the helipad on the edge of tall grass and dirt, and the helicopter subsequently bounced. A postaccident examination of the airframe and a test run of the engine in a test cell and on the airframe identified no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The cause of the partial loss of engine power could not be determined.

 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

 

Findings

Not determined

Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

On June 19, 2013, about 1620 central daylight time, N467AE, a Bell BH-206 L-4 helicopter, sustained substantial damage when it made a forced landing after a partial loss of engine power while on final approach to a private helipad (AE02) in Lake City, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, flight nurse, and the paramedic were not injured. The helicopter was registered to a private entity and operated by Air Evac EMS, Incorporated, O'Fallon, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the repositioning flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from a private helipad (AE03) in Sikeston, Missouri, about1534.

The pilot reported that the helicopter was approximately 80-100 feet above the ground at an airspeed of 40 knots when the engine lost power. He described the power loss as being similar to when a turbine engine rolls back to flight idle. The pilot lowered the collective to conserve rotor rpm, and touched down short of the landing pad on tall grass/dirt and bounced, which resulted in damage to the skids and the tail boom.

According to the operator, the helicopter and the engine had accrued a total of 154.3 hours since new. An airframe examination was conducted on June 25, 2013, at the operator's maintenance facility in Pomona, Missouri, under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Examination of the helicopter's main rotor, tail rotor, flight control, and hydraulic systems revealed no pre-impact anomalies. In addition, examination of the fuel system revealed no leaks or discrepancies that would have contributed to a loss of engine power.

The engine was examined at Rolls Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 9, 2013, under the supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The engine was placed on a test-cell stand where it was visually examined and checked for leaks. No leaks or discrepancies were observed that would have precluded the engine from being run. The engine was then placed in an engine test-cell and run in accordance to the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 series overhaul manual. The engine was started and ran through its full power range twice. No anomalies were identified that would have contributed to a loss of engine power.

The engine was returned to the operator and re-installed on the helicopter using the same controllers and a ground run was conducted in accordance with the manufacturer's Operational Acceptance Flight Checklist for the BH-206L. The purpose of the test was to try and duplicate the loss of engine power reported by the pilot and to determine if any other anomalies may have contributed to the accident. The ground run did not identify any anomalies with either the airframe or engine that would have contributed to a partial loss of engine power.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for rotorcraft-helicopter, and an instrument rating for rotorcraft-helicopter. He reported a total flight time of 5,380 hours; of which, 2,007 hours were in the same make/model helicopter as the accident helicopter. 

Weather at Jonesboro Municipal airport (JBR), about 10 miles southwest, at 1553 was reported as calm wind, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 4,400 feet, temperature 29 degrees C, and a dewpoint 20 degrees C.

 

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final

Loss of engine power (partial) (Defining event)

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial

Age:

58

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

No

Medical Certification:

Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

10/19/2012

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

03/04/2013

Flight Time:

5380 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2007 hours (Total, this make and model), 5270 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

BELL

Registration:

N467AE

Model/Series:

206 - L4 L4

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

 

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

52438

Landing Gear Type:

High Skid; Skid

Seats:

4

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

05/19/2013, AAIP

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

4450 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

154 Hours

Engines:

1 Turbo Shaft

Airframe Total Time:

154 Hours as of last inspection

Engine Manufacturer:

Rolls Royce

ELT:

Installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

CAE-896154

Registered Owner:

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Rated Power:

650 hp

Operator:

Air Evac EMS INC

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

On-demand Air Taxi (135)

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

JBR, 262 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

10 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

1553 CDT

Direction from Accident Site:

270°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Few / 4400 ft agl

Visibility

10 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

 

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

Calm /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

 

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

29°C / 20°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

 

Departure Point:

Sikeston, MO (AE03)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

Company VFR

Destination:

Lake City, AR (AE02)

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

1534 CDT

Type of Airspace:

Class G

 

Airport Information

Airport:

Air Evac Helipad (AE02)

Runway Surface Type:

Concrete

Airport Elevation:

235 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry; Soft; Vegetation

Runway Used:

N/A

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

2 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

3 None

Latitude, Longitude:

35.825556, -90.641111 (est)

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Leah D Yeager

Report Date:

07/30/2014

Additional Participating Persons:

Brian Love; FAA/FSDO; Little Rock, AR

Jon Michael; Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, IN

David Hardin; Air Evac Lifeteam; O'Fallon, MO

Joan Gregoire; Bell Helicopter (Tech advisor to TSB); Hurst, TX

Publish Date:

07/31/2014

Investigation Docket:

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/dockList.cfm?mKey=87240