CFIT Accident Eurocopter EC 135P2 N558MT,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 309060
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Date:Thursday 9 March 2023
Time:19:57 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 135P2
Owner/operator:Med-Trans Corp (MTC)
Registration: N558MT
MSN: 1073
Year of manufacture:2012
Total airframe hrs:6067 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PW206B2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Burningtown, NC -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Murphey, NC (5NC4)
Destination airport:Asheville, NC (NC95)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
According to the pilot, prior to the flight, he determined the highest obstacle enroute was 6,100 ft with several 5,000 to 5,500 ft peaks along the route. In addition, he noted that during the flight, the end of evening nautical twilight would occur. After departure, he dialed 5,500 ft into the autopilot and leveled off. He went to don the night vision goggles and noted that they were on the copilot seat on top of an aircraft logbook. He went to move the logbook to the pilot door compartment, where it was typically stowed for flight, and decided to check the flight times against the times that maintenance was due. At that point, he noticed the cloud ceiling was lowering and dialed in 5,000 ft into the autopilot, then “went back heads down' to continue his review of the logbook. Then, the flight nurse asked for an updated estimated time enroute, and when the pilot looked up, he saw the helicopter was approaching a tree covered peak. He applied aft cyclic in order to climb; however the tail boom struck several trees, resulting in the vertical stabilizer separating from the tail boom. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a road, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and tail boom. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper decision to review an aircraft logbook while enroute, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA23LA147
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


FAA register: (photo)



Revision history:

11-Jun-2023 07:52 ASN Update Bot Updated
11-Jun-2023 07:56 harro Updated
12-Jun-2023 10:14 Aerossurance Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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