NTSB Identification: CHI00LA230
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 28, 2000 in ST. PAUL, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2001
Aircraft: Bell BH-222-U, registration: N224LL
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The hospital helicopter pad security video camera showed the helicopter had flown into the wind during the approach to hovering over the helicopter pad. A hover turn was used to place the left side of the helicopter nearest to the patient ramp. The helicopter then landed on the pad. The shadow of the windsock seen on the video recording indicated the wind was from the direction aft of the helicopter when the helicopter landed on the pad. The helicopter started to lift off the helicopter pad when the tailrotor struck the helicopter pad light that was below the tailrotor. The aft portion of the helicopter's skids were still on the deck of the helicopter pad, or very nearly still on the deck of the helicopter pad, when the tailrotor struck the lighting fixture. The helicopter yawed to right about 30 degrees and the weight of the helicopter settled back down on the helicopter's skid. The main rotor and tail rotor blades came to a complete stop about 10 seconds after the tailrotor hit the light fixture. The top of the light fixture measured about 19 inches in height. The surface weather observation recorded at MSP at 1109 cdt indicated the winds were 020 degrees at 10 knots. The surface weather observation recorded at MSP at 1153 cdt indicated the winds were 010 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 17 knots.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadequate preflight and improper vertical takeoff and not obtaining clearance from helicopter pad light. Factors included the tailwind takeoff and the helipad light. Full narrative available
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