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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217219
Last updated: 6 January 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 205A-1
Owner/operator:Heli Jet Corp.
Registration: N68HJ
C/n / msn: 30154
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Grove Hill, AL -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
During an external lift operation to pick up a fertilizer bucket, the vertical fin separated from the tail boom. The helicopter rotated to the right, and the pilot tried to move away from obstacles. The tail boom struck the ground and separated from the fuselage, while the helicopter was still rotating to the right. The main rotor blades hit a tree and the helicopter came to rest on the ground on its left side. Investigation revealed a fatigue fracture through a rivet hole of the vertical fin forward spar. An inspection of this area was signed off the day prior to the accident. However, examination of the wreckage, and a sister ship, revealed that the fracture location could not be observed during normal inspections because of other structure. One airworthiness directive (AD), and service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, addressed vertical fin spar cracks, but none applied to this ship. The AD required removal of the rivet, where the fatigue fracture initiated, to facilitate inspection of the rivet hole. The inspection was no longer required after compliance with a service bulletin that modified the spar. This helicopter was modified during its original manufacture.

Probable Cause: fatigue failure of the vertical fin forward spar in an area that was not accessible to inspection. A factor relating to the accident was: guidance for inspection of the area (where the fatigue occurred) was insufficiently defined by the manufacturer.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation A-97-100 issued 8 September 1997 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-97-101 issued 8 September 1997 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-97-99 issued 8 September 1997 by NTSB to FAA

Revision history:

03-Nov-2018 20:56 ASN Update Bot Added

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