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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34906
Last updated: 5 December 2019
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Date:17-JUL-1999
Time:12:31
Type:Silhouette image of generic BK17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
MBB BK 117B-2
Owner/operator:Hermann Memorial Hospital Sys
Registration: N110HH
C/n / msn: 7122
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Fresno, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Houston, TX (20TA)
Destination airport:Fresno, TX (TE11)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The helicopter was making a VFR approach to a fueling site when witnesses observed components of the main rotor system separate from the helicopter. Subsequently, the helicopter entered an uncontrollable descent and impacted the ground. Examination of the helicopter revealed that one of the four main rotor blades separated due to the failure of the tension-torsion strap (T-T strap), which secured the blade to the main rotor head. Examination of the failed T-T strap revealed that the polyurethane protective coating had debonded from a portion of the strap allowing corrosive agents, including carbon, sulphur, and chlorine into the strap. The strap separated as a result of fatigue cracking of the wires making up the strap. The fatigue cracking emanated from corrosion pits and deposits that were introduced to the strap when the polyurethane protective coating debonded. The T-T strap had accumulated a total of 7,815.3 flight hours and 35,971 flights at the time that it failed. It had been in service since the helicopter was manufactured in 1987. Following the accident, a life limit of 120 months or 25,000 flights (whichever comes first) was established for the T-T straps.

Probable Cause: the loss of control during approach due to the corrosion of the T-T strap which resulted in fatigue cracking and subsequent separation of the strap and main rotor blade from the helicopter.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001212X19258&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
17-Feb-2010 11:23 TB Updated [Other fatalities, Phase]
24-Jul-2010 12:37 FLYINGBROTHER1 Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
20-Aug-2010 03:11 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
20-Aug-2010 04:54 TB Updated [Operator]
22-Nov-2012 09:14 TB Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
25-Apr-2016 21:12 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
14-Dec-2017 08:40 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Source, Narrative]

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