Accident Hughes 369FF N530TJ, 19 Jul 2005
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 134848
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 369FF
Owner/operator:Fort Collins-loveland Muni
Registration: N530TJ
MSN: 0041FF
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Loveland, CO -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:External load operation
Departure airport:Remote Area, CO
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The helicopter was being used to support United States Forest Service (USFS) firefighting operations in the area and was attempting to deliver supplies via external load. Prior to the approach, the pilot overflew the intended landing location and was informed that the winds were from the west approximately 7 knots. The pilot performed a hover check approximately 1/2 mile east of the intended landing zone (LZ) over a valley. The pilot moved the helicopter west to the LZ at a speed just above effective translational lift and came to a hover with the load approximately 30-40 feet over the landing spot. The pilot checked the engine and operating instruments and all systems indicated normal. The pilot began looking down and outside the helicopter when he felt a yaw to the right. The pilot noticed that he was "depressing the left [pedal] more as I pushed on the left to stop a right turn." The helicopter then made an "uncommanded turn to the right and began spinning right." The helicopter made two to three rotations to the right; the pilot jettisoned the cargo portion of the long line and lowered the collective. The pilot attempted to regain control of the descent by adding power/pitch to the main rotor; however, the aircraft immediately started spinning again. The pilot lowered the collective and began a glide into the trees. Subsequently, the helicopter impacted trees and terrain and came to rest on its left side. Examination of the aircraft revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Prior to the flight, the pilot incorrectly computed the performance and load calculations for the operation. The pilot's incorrect performance and load calculations were also not properly verified by the USFS helicopter manager. In addition, the USFS personnel miscalculated the weight of the external load, which was unknown to the pilot. A review of the rotorcraft flight manual revealed the maximum gross weight limitation was exceeded given the environmental conditions at the time of the accident. The calculated density altitude was 11,465 feet.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control due to delayed remedial action during the encounter with the loss of tail rotor effectiveness. Contributing factors were the pilot's inadequate preflight performance planning, and the inadequate supervision by the US Forest Service personnel.




Revision history:

02-Sep-2014 10:19 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Nature, Source, Narrative]
02-Sep-2014 10:20 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
06-Dec-2017 10:44 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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