Accident Sikorsky S-76A N343AA, 27 Jun 2008
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 285917
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:11:33 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S76 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sikorsky S-76A
Owner/operator:Artic Air Service
Registration: N343AA
MSN: 760013
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Santa Maria, California -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Santa Maria Airport, CA (KSMX)
Destination airport:Santa Maria, CA
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The helicopter's copilot was performing the landing on an oil production platform and making a right pedal turn over the heliport surface when the tail rotor of the helicopter struck a movable derrick. The copilot lost tail rotor authority and landed immediately. The left main gear collapsed and the helicopter rolled onto the left side. The helicopter received structural damage to the tail rotor and main rotor assemblies. The operator reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the helicopter. Six days before the accident, the movable derrick on the platform had been positioned to its closest location to the heliport area, 7 feet from the southeast edge of the heliport deck. None of the derricks on the other platforms used by the operator can be positioned this close to the flight deck. The deck area of the accident platform's heliport is 50 feet by 50 feet, compared to an area of about 70 feet by 70 feet on the other platform heliport decks. In the past, the accident platform had different markings than those on the other decks, including a reference line, or "Butt Line," to determine the location of the pilot seat that would allow adequate tail rotor clearance during a pedal turn. The deck on the accident platform had been stripped and repainted about 2 months before the accident, and the new markings were similar to those on the other decks; however, the "H" symbol was offset from the previous position to be about 1 foot closer to the southeast side of the deck, and the reference line had not been repainted.

Probable Cause: The copilot's misjudged clearance from an object during a hovering turn for landing. Contributing to the accident were the inadequately marked heliport surface and the close proximity of an obstruction near the landing area.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

02-Oct-2022 17:05 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av., 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314