Accident Sikorsky S-76C N317MY,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 75127
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Date:Friday 17 June 2005
Type:Silhouette image of generic S76 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sikorsky S-76C
Owner/operator:Corporate Aviation, LLC
Registration: N317MY
MSN: 760460
Year of manufacture:1996
Total airframe hrs:2412 hours
Engine model:Turbomeca Ariel 2S1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:New York, NY -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:New York, NY (6N5)
Destination airport:Wilmington, DE (ILG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
While facing west on a crowded urban heliport on the leeward side of tall buildings that blocked westerly winds of 15 knots gusting to 23 knots, the pilot executed a rearward takeoff in calm winds slightly above the maximum gross weight of the helicopter. Once clear of the heliport and while out-of ground-effect, the pilot executed a right pedal turn for a north departure over the water, and lowered the nose to initiate an acceleration. Simultaneously the helicopter encountered a left quartering tailwind that was originally blocked by the tall buildings. The helicopter began to settle, and contacted the water. While executing the right pedal turn to transition to forward flight, the pilot noticed an audible "degrading" of the rotor rpm, and the N1 in the "yellow." During interviews with the flight crew, neither pilot could articulate what the maximum allowable gross weight was for the environmental conditions. Each pilot could only say the helicopter was "good" for the takeoff. According to performance data, the maximum gross weight for takeoff was 11,700 pounds, but the data didn't provide a means for calculating power margins. Prior to flying into the heliport on the day of the accident, the pilots had the helicopter was fueled to capacity. This decision was based on picking up five passengers instead of the six that actually boarded. Aware of the additional passenger and without conducting any additional performance planning, the pilot attempted the departure. Prior to contacting the water, the crew experienced uncommanded pitch and roll oscillations, and high levels of vibration consistent with settling with power. Examination of the wreckage, post accident engine runs, and testing of the digital engine control units revealed no preimpact anomalies.
Probable Cause: An inadvertent encounter with a left quartering tailwind. Factors in the accident were settling with power, the high gross weight of the helicopter, and the crew's failure to accurately assess the winds in the area.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: IAD05MA078
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

14-Jun-2010 10:40 TB Added
15-Aug-2015 12:45 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
06-Dec-2017 10:14 ASN Update Bot Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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