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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138956
Last updated: 7 August 2020
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Date:04-OCT-2011
Time:12:52
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri
Owner/operator:Department Of Homeland Security
Registration: N3925A
C/n / msn: 1594
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:S of San Juan and Alamo, TX -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:McAllen, TX (MFE)
Destination airport:McAllen, TX (MFE)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot and the supplemental crewmember were dispatched to provide aerial support for an on-going border patrol mission. The mission was delayed, so the pilot decided to make a no-hover landing to an unfamiliar grass field and sit idle (to conserve fuel) until needed. On approach, the pilot had too much forward speed for the no-hover landing and transitioned to a slow, running landing. Upon touchdown, the pilot said he used full aft cyclic to control the maneuver but did not remember what he did with the collective. The helicopter slid about 34 feet then pitched forward causing the helicopter's lower wire strike protection system and the main rotor blades to strike the ground. According to the operator's aircraft standardization manual, during a running landing, the pilot has to hold the collective stationary after ground contact to avoid any rapid pitch reductions. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical problems prior to the accident. He said the accident could have been avoided if he had conducted an approach to hover followed by a vertical landing or executed a go-around and re-attempted a no-hover landing.
Probable Cause: The pilot's improper use of the collective while landing, which resulted in an unrecoverable forward pitching moment. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision not to go-around.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20111005X91033&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
05-Oct-2011 00:22 gerard57 Added
05-Oct-2011 00:54 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source, Damage, Narrative]
05-Oct-2011 05:34 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
11-Mar-2013 05:12 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:22 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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