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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 58786
Last updated: 26 April 2019
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Date:22-FEB-2009
Time:19:55
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B2
Owner/operator:PHI Inc
Registration: N353P
C/n / msn: 3885
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Cave Creek, Maricopa County, Arizona -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Destination airport:Cave Creek, AZ
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
During a night time positioning flight to a traffic accident to pick up a patient, the pilot obtained landing zone information by radio from first responders. The first responders informed the pilot that there were numerous obstructions surrounding the dirt parking lot landing zone. The pilot performed an aerial reconnaissance of the parking lot to visually identify obstacles and asked ground personnel if the landing area had been watered down. The ground personnel replied that the landing area was not wetted down; however, it "looked damp." The pilot proceeded to initiate his approach to the dirt parking lot and observed dust starting to circulate around the helicopter. Shortly after, the pilot encountered a brownout about 15 to 20 feet above ground level (agl). He then reduced power in an effort to land quicker and reduce the dust volume. As the helicopter descended through about 10 feet agl, the pilot lost visual reference through his night vision goggles due to lights from adjacent emergency service vehicles. The pilot attempted to look outside through the windows underneath his NVGs as he slightly adjusted the collective. Subsequently, the helicopter landed hard, adjacent to an office building and fire truck, forward and to the left of the pilot's original intended landing area. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the tail boom and fuselage were structurally damaged.
Probable Cause: The pilot's misjudged landing flare. Contributing to the accident was the brownout condition created by the dust cloud that interfered with the pilot's perception of proximity to the ground, and the glare interference from the parked fire vehicles headlights with the pilot's night vision goggles.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20090223X04221&key=1
FAA register: 2. FAA\: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=353P


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
23-Feb-2009 10:11 harro Updated
21-Jul-2014 01:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 12:11 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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