Accident AgustaWestland AW139 N385RH,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 150359
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Date:Monday 22 October 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic A139 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
AgustaWestland AW139
Owner/operator:Era Helicopters Llc
Registration: N385RH
MSN: 41013
Year of manufacture:2008
Total airframe hrs:2063 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Houma-Terrebonne Airport -   United States of America
Phase: Taxi
Departure airport:Houma, LA (KHUM)
Destination airport:Houma, LA (KHUM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The flight crew was repositioning the helicopter to another landing pad when the accident occurred. According to the flight crew and flight data recorder (FDR) data, as the helicopter was touching down, it began to experience severe vertical vibrations and to oscillate violently. The pilot reported that he lowered the collective but that the vibrations and oscillations intensified. The pilot then increased the collective to lift the helicopter off the ground. The helicopter became airborne, but the violent oscillations and vibrations continued. The pilot initiated a left pedal turn to avoid another helicopter, at which time, the oscillations and vibrations were so severe that the pilots’ headsets came off of their heads. The helicopter entered a spin and impacted the grass hard while moving laterally to the left. The pilots shut down and then exited the helicopter.

The blue main rotor blade damper was replaced the night before the accident. A maintenance test flight was performed following the replacement. The flight crewmembers who flew the test flight reported that there was a slight vibration from the main rotor system and that one of the five main rotor blades had a “slight dip” in its track. There was no record of the main rotor blade out-of-track discrepancy nor of a main rotor track and balance inspection being performed subsequent to this flight. Although an out-of-track blade could cause a persistent vertical vibration, an examination of the main rotor blades, elastomeric bearings, main rotor dampers, main rotor rod ends, main gearbox attachment points and antitorque beam, and automatic flight control system did not reveal any anomalies that could account for the vertical vibrations reported by the flight crew and recorded on the FDR.

Probable Cause: The helicopter’s sudden and severe vertical vibrations during landing, which resulted in a collision with terrain. The reason for the helicopter’s sudden and severe vertical vibrations could not be determined during postaccident examinations.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN13FA025
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

25-Oct-2012 06:34 aegir Added
25-Oct-2012 10:23 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Narrative]
29-Oct-2012 04:22 aegir Updated [Source, Narrative]
19-Dec-2012 04:46 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Nature, Narrative]
28-Jun-2015 17:06 Aerossurance Updated [Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Jun-2015 17:08 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Destination airport]
29-Sep-2016 15:06 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 13:45 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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