National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report
Date & Time:
07/04/2020, 1357 EDT
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical Emergency)
On July 4, 2020, about 1357 eastern daylight time (EDT), an Airbus Helicopter BK117, N263MH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Wayne County Airport (KBJJ), Wooster, Ohio. The two commercial pilots, the flight nurse, and flight paramedic sustained no injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 helicopter air ambulance flight.
Surveillance video showed that after lifting off a portable dolly, the helicopter, operated by Metro Aviation, turned right and briefly hovered. As the helicopter began to take off following the hover, it traversed a grassy area adjacent to the ramp about 10 ft above ground level (AGL), where a silt construction fence was obscured by tall grass. As the helicopter overflew, the fence became unsecured and blew up and into the main and tail rotor system as shown in the photo below. The crew then performed a forced landing, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, tailboom, and tail rotor blades.
Photo showing the silt construction fence entangled in the main rotor blades
At the time of the accident, there were no notices to airmen (NOTAMS) for the construction fence and the presence of the fence was not contained within any publications or notices available to pilots.
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Operating Certificate(s) Held:
On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Wreckage and Impact Information
40.873611, -81.883889 (est)
Investigator In Charge (IIC):
David S Williams
Additional Participating Persons:
Arnold Wolfe; FAA; Cleveland, OH
The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.