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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 186162
Last updated: 19 August 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L LongRanger
Owner/operator:Smoky Mountain Helicopters
Registration: N16760
C/n / msn: 45081
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, TN -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sixty Six Heliport (6TN3)
Destination airport:Sixty Six Heliport (6TN3)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Sight seeing helicopter crashed into the woods in Sevier County between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Post crash fire consumed the aircraft. Five occupants onboard fatally injured. Operator: Great Smoky Mountain Helicopters Inc dba Smoky Mountain Helicopters.

A witness who lived near the accident site reported that he was outside when he observed the helicopter flying low in a descent, and it "didn't sound right." He further described the sound as if "the engine was wound tight" and it "lost the rotor sound." He then heard the engine go silent, "as if the pilot cut the power," which was followed by sounds associated with impact. Another witness reported hearing the impact and observed the accident site engulfed in fire.

The helicopter initially impacted trees near the top of a ridge that was about 1,100 feet mean sea level (msl). The helicopter came to rest in a wooded area near the bottom of the ridge, on its left side, on a heading of about 340 degrees magnetic. Two large, freshly broken trees were located about 100 feet south of the main wreckage, which was mostly consumed by a postcrash fire. In addition, the entire area surrounding the main wreckage was charred.

Autopsies revealed four of the five died as a result of burns.

All major structural components of the helicopter were located at the accident site. One of the two main rotor blades was separated, and located about 20 feet northwest of the main wreckage. The leading edges of both main rotor blades did not exhibit significant impact damage. Manual rotation of the main rotor blade that remained attached to the main rotor hub resulted in rotation of the main rotor mast, the engine-to-transmission drive shaft, the engine's No. 4 turbine wheel, the tail rotor drive output, and confirmed free-wheel functionality. The tail rotor drive shaft was fractured in multiple locations. The flexible couplings between the drive shaft flanges were intact and did not display evidence of fractures or deformation consistent with power at impact. The tail rotor gearbox was separated from the tail boom and located about 30 feet southeast of the main wreckage. Manual rotation of the tail rotor blades resulted in rotation of the gearbox input. The splines at the tail rotor gearbox did not exhibit evidence of fractures or smearing. All three flight control servo control linkages were fractured at multiple locations; however, the linkages remained attached to their respective input and output ends. There was no evidence of damage to the engine's first stage compressor section, or fourth stage turbine wheel.

A weather observation taken at airport located about 3 miles northeast of the accident site, about the time of the accident, reported: winds from 220 degrees, at 10 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 24 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.93 inches of mercury.


Revision history:

05-Apr-2016 01:39 Aerossurance Added
05-Apr-2016 01:51 Geno Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
05-Apr-2016 06:14 aviddds Updated [Date]
05-Apr-2016 14:51 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]
06-Apr-2016 04:55 Geno Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
06-Apr-2016 05:46 Geno Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
11-Apr-2016 19:49 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
11-Apr-2016 19:54 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Narrative]
17-May-2016 20:57 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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