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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 215829
Last updated: 28 September 2019
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Time:10:55 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus Helicopters AS 350B3 Écureuil
Owner/operator:Chinilna Equipment LLC
Registration: N907PL
C/n / msn: 8471
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lituya Bay, Gustavus, N of Juneau, AK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Juneau International Airport, AK (JNU/PAJN)
Destination airport:Yakutat Airport, AK (YAK/PAYA)
The helicopter crashed 100 feet from the shore. The fuselage was found in shallow water, according NTSB. One occupant (14) was rescued with mild hypothermia, three other were missing. Two adults and two adolescents were in the helicopter at the moment of the accident.
USCG: “Two adults and two adolescents were aboard the crashed helicopter that was reported to be brand new out of the factory,” Coast Guard officials said. The newly acquired helicopter was on a long distance trip from Grand Prairie, Texas.

NTSB preliminary report:

On September 28, 2018, about 1055 Alaska daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters AS350-B3e, impacted shallow water on a beach in Glacier Bay National Park about 60 miles northwest of Gustavus, Alaska. The co-pilot was fatally injured, one passenger sustained serious injuries, and the pilot and one other passenger are missing. The helicopter was registered to Chinilna Equipment LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed from the Juneau International Airport (JNU) Juneau, Alaska, and was en route to Yakutat Airport (YAK), Yakutat, Alaska.

According to the family members, the purpose of the trip was to deliver the helicopter from the Airbus Helicopters factory in Grand Prairie, TX, to Anchorage, AK. The left seat pilot was onboard for insurance coverage purposes. The owner/pilot planned to drop off the left seat pilot in Wasilla, AK, then proceed to Anchorage.

The accident flight departed Juneau and proceeded west over the mountains 3,000 to 4,000 ft above ground level (agl) and then north along the coast line about 500 to 700 ft agl. The last recorded GPS point was 8.5 nautical miles (nm) southeast of the accident site and 500 ft agl while flying above the beach.

In a post-accident interview, the surviving passenger stated that the pilot "reached down and rolled the throttle off." He added that the pilot left the collective up and the helicopter entered a free fall from about 500 ft agl, then about 30 ft agl he increased the throttle again. He felt helicopter impact the water and noticed water splash in the cabin, then went unconscious.

The helicopter impacted the water and came to rest partially embedded in the sand (figure 1). The investigative team arrived at the accident site about 1100 on September 30, 2018, to photo document the accident site and locate the Appareo Vision 1000 image recording device, the engine data recorder, and digital engine control unit; they were all recovered and transported to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC, for examination and download.

The tailboom, tail rotor assembly, and most of the instrument panel were not found. A significant amount of wreckage had washed ashore and was found on the beach south of the main wreckage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for a thorough post-accident examination.





Revision history:

30-Sep-2018 02:25 Iceman 29 Added
30-Sep-2018 02:26 Iceman 29 Updated [Date]
30-Sep-2018 02:33 Iceman 29 Updated [Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Sep-2018 02:41 Iceman 29 Updated [Registration, Cn, Source]
30-Sep-2018 02:44 Iceman 29 Updated [Operator]
30-Sep-2018 02:53 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Source, Photo]
30-Sep-2018 02:54 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
30-Sep-2018 02:56 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Embed code]
30-Sep-2018 05:07 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
30-Sep-2018 07:08 harro Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport]
30-Sep-2018 13:41 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
01-Oct-2018 20:30 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Oct-2018 20:31 Iceman 29 Updated [Narrative]
02-Oct-2018 17:59 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
12-Oct-2018 14:51 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative, Photo]
16-Oct-2018 19:40 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]

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