NTSB Identification: FTW94FA274.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, August 19, 1994 in ALBERT LEA, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: BELL 230, registration: N230EM
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT OF A MEDICAL EVACUATION HELICOPTER WAS MANEUVERING THE HELICOPTER TO LAND ON THE AIRPORT RAMP TO PICK UP A PATIENT FROM THE AWAITING AMBULANCE. IN ORDER TO AVOID OVERFLYING TREES, A HANGAR, AND AN UNTIED AIRPLANE, THE PILOT EXECUTED A STEEP APPROACH AT LOW AIRSPEED WHILE SIDE SLIPPING THE HELICOPTER TO MAINTAIN ALIGNMENT ON A TRACK OF 175 DEGREES. WHEN THE PILOT BEGAN TO ADJUST THE COLLECTIVE TO ARREST HIS RATE OF DESCENT, AND SLOW HIS RATE OF CLOSURE, THE RPM DROPPED AND THE AIRCRAFT MADE AN UNUSUAL NOISE ACCOMPANIED WITH AIRFRAME SHUTTERING. THE PILOT REDUCED COLLECTIVE PITCH AND LOWERED THE NOSE IN AN ATTEMPT TO EXECUTE A RUNNING LANDING TO A GRASS AREA ADJACENT TO THE INTENDED LANDING AREA. THE HELICOPTER LANDED HARD AND BOUNCED TWICE. THE LEFT LANDING GEAR CROSSTUBE COLLAPSED WHEN THE HELICOPTER CONTACTED THE SHOULDER OF THE TAXIWAY. A POST-IMPACT FIRE STARTED WITHIN 2 MINUTES, CONSUMING THE TOP OF THE CABIN. THE WINDS AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WERE FROM 310 DEGREES AT 15 KNOTS, GUSTING TO 20. EXAMINATION OF THE HELICOPTER AND ENGINES DID NOT DISCLOSE ANY MECHANICAL ANOMALIES.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO EXECUTE THE PROPER APPROACH AND THE ENSUING SETTLING WITH POWER. FACTORS WERE THE TAILWIND, AND THE CONGESTION AROUND THE AIRPORT.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug1994 | Index of months