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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 38229
Last updated: 18 November 2017
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Date:27-SEP-1994
Time:20:43
Type:Silhouette image of generic H64 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas AH-64A Apache
Owner/operator:McDonnell Douglas Helicopter
Registration: R0324
C/n / msn: PV270
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:1
Airplane damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Mesa, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Chandler, AZ (IWA)
Destination airport:(AZ81)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
A TEST HELICOPTER (MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AH-64D, WITH 1 VHF RADIO) AND A CHASE HELICOPTER (MCDONNELL DOUGLAS 520N, WITH 2 VHF RADIOS) WERE ON A NIGHT VFR FLIGHT FROM CHANDLER, AZ, TO THE MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELIPORT AT MESA, AZ. THE MISSION OF THE CHASE CREW (CHASE) WAS TO SURVEIL THE AREA FOR THE TEST CREW (LEAD) AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION CONCERNING OTHER AIR TRAFFIC OR HAZARDS. THE DESTINATION HELIPORT WAS LOCATED JUST NORTH OF FALCON FIELD. DURING ARRIVAL, LEAD NOTIFIED CHASE OF A VHF FREQUENCY CHANGE TO THE FALCON FIELD TOWER (ATCT) FREQUENCY. CHASE ACKNOWLEDGED; THIS WAS THE LAST KNOWN TRANSMISSION FROM CHASE. LEAD THEN CHANGED TO THE HELIPORT'S 'APACHE RAMP CONTROL' FREQUENCY. THE GROUND CONTROL RADIO OPERATOR, MONITORING THE FREQUENCY, CLEARED THE HELICOPTER(S) TO LAND ON RUNWAY 22 AT THE HELIPORT. SOON THEREAFTER, THE CHASE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE LEAD HELICOPTER. DURING THE MIDAIR COLLISION, THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES OF CHASE STRUCK THE LEFT WING AND WING STORES OF LEAD. LEAD CONTINUED TO A SAFE LANDING, BUT THE MAIN ROTOR SEPARATED FROM THE CHASE HELICOPTER, AND IT CRASHED. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THE CHASE HELICOPTER HAD CONVERGED ON THE LEAD HELICOPTER FROM THE LEFT REAR QUADRANT. AN EXPLETIVE OF AN UNKNOWN SOURCE WAS TRANSMITTED ON THE ATCT FREQUENCY AT ABOUT THE TIME OF THE MIDAIR COLLISION. TESTS OF THE RADIOS FROM THE CHASE HELICOPTER REVEALED THEY WERE BOTH ON THE ATCT FREQUENCY. CAUSE: FAILURE OF THE CHASE HELICOPTER PILOT TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE FROM THE LEAD HELICOPTER DURING A NIGHT APPROACH TO LAND. POSSIBLE FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, AND INADEQUATE RADIO COORDINATION BETWEEN FLIGHT CREWS OF THE TWO HELICOPTERS.

Sources:

NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001206X02276


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
08-Sep-2010 12:49 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Nature]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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