NTSB Identification: SEA02LA115.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 27, 2002 in Arlington, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Seattle Aerotech Helipower 2500, registration: N13RM
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 pilot reported that on the accident flight, he initially performed a hover and 360-degree pedal turn without problems. He stated that he then entered forward flight at 10 MPH, and then transitioned back to a hover at 3 feet above ground level (AGL), again without problems. He reported that he then turned around and entered forward flight in the opposite direction at 6 feet AGL and 20 MPH, again without problems. He stated that he then turned around again and entered forward flight at 30 MPH. He reported that as he decelerated from 30 MPH back toward a hover, the helicopter experienced a violent vibration of sufficient severity that he felt an immediate run-on landing was necessary. During the run-on landing, the helicopter nosed down, the forward blade struck the ground and the aft blade severed the helicopter's tail boom. The pilot reported that he then saw a flash in the helicopter's engine compartment in his peripheral vision, and thus decided to egress the helicopter immediately. After the pilot egressed, the helicopter's fuel tank caught fire and the helicopter burned. Post accident examination of the helicopter by personnel from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration disclosed no evidence as to the cause of the vibration or its origin.

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

Aircraft control not maintained during a run-on landing. A vibration of unknown origin was a factor in the accident.

Full narrative available

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