Accident Agusta A109A Mk II N1WC,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43227
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Date:Monday 11 September 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic A109 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Agusta A109A Mk II
Owner/operator:Hospital Air Transport
Registration: N1WC
MSN: 7278
Total airframe hrs:3909 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Winslow, WA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Seattle, WA (BFI)
Destination airport:, WA
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The helicopter pilot took off at night on a positioning flight for an emergency medical service (EMS) operation. There were reports of a low overcast layer varying from 1,000 feet above ground level to the surface. The majority of the witnesses reported that the helicopter was flying low as it traveled over the ground and continued over water toward a nearby island. Subsequently, the helicopter collided with the water and sank. Several of the witnesses reported that the engine sounded normal until the helicopter crashed. Some witnesses reported a 'popping' sound or a 'laboring' sound from the engines; however, after the engines were recovered at a later date, no evidence of a preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction was found. Local residents reported that the water condition at the time of the accident was 'calm' or 'glassy.' Several small pieces of the fuselage and main rotor blades were found floating on the surface of the water. Examination revealed that 3 of the main rotor blades had separated approximately three feet out from the attach points. The fourth blade separated approximately seven feet out from the attach point; however, the blade was bent and cracked chordwise approximately three feet out from the attach point. Using side scan sonar, wreckage was found over a distance of approximately 600 feet. The landing gear was found in the extended position, and the engine power levers were found in the flight position. Also, torsional evidence was found on the tail rotor driveshaft. CAUSE: the pilot failed to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance above the surface of water, while flying over calm water conditions at night. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness, low ceiling, fog, glassy (calm) water conditions, and the lack of visual cues for visual perception of altitude.



Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
27-Jan-2010 10:13 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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