NTSB Identification: CHI00FA111
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 14, 2000 in St. Paul, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Bell 222U, registration: N225LL
Injuries: 2 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.
During cruise flight the pilot lost control of the helicopter and an uncontrolled forced landing was made onto the top of a two-story industrial warehouse. The pylon mounted actuator support assembly had separated from the transmission case. The support assembly, attachment hardware, and portions of the transmission case were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for analysis. According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report, "... all of the studs showed progressive fatigue cracking from multiple origins." The report stated, "All but one stud fracture ... showed progression from diametrically opposed sides, typical of reversed bending fatigue loads." The report stated that all of the stud and dowel holes in the actuator support were, "... elongated on opposite sides from contact with the respective dowel or stud." The report further stated, "In addition to the elongation of the holes, the faying surfaces of the support and the transmission case were severely worn from relative movement. The directions of indicated movements and wear correspond to the axis of elongation of the respective support holes." The lead mechanic for the helicopter reported that one of the dowel pins was found during routine maintenance approximately one year prior to the accident date and the maintenance staff did not determine the identify the source of the dowel pin.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of clamp-up force between the transmission case and the pylon mounted actuator support assembly which resulted in fatigue failure of the threaded studs and dowel pins, the failure of the flight control system, helicopter control not being possible after the flight control failure, and the inadequate maintenance procedures by the company maintenance personnel. Full narrative available
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