NTSB Identification: DEN05LA118.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2005 in Englewood, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Bellanca 8GCBC, registration: N5043N
Injuries: 2 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 was directed by tower to cross taxiway "A" straight onto the ramp where the pilot had a permanent tie-down spot. Because there was a jet being moved at the west-most portion of the open area preceding the ramp, the pilot chose to taxi north through east portion of the open area that was next to the where his tie-down spot was. The pilot said he was taxiing at a normal "fast walking pace" with engine power set at 1,000 rpm. As he approached the north side of the open area, the pilot said he heard a loud banging noise and felt the airplane pitch over on its nose. The pilot said the tires had contacted a helicopter dolly, "causing a sudden stop and pitch-over." The airplane's impact with the dolly caused substantial damage to the bottom fuselage structure and the landing gear strut attach points. The helicopter dolly was a 10-by-10 foot square, 1 foot high, wooden deck. The platform had a metal frame with castered wheels, foot pads, and a "Y-shaped" tow bar. The deck was a natural wood color. The frame around the deck was painted white. The dolly was located at the northwest corner of the TAC Air ramp abeam the A3 taxiway, and approximately 18 feet south of the west to east running yellow taxi stripe that leads from taxiway "A" to the ramp. The pilot said that while taxiing, he was actively scanning for conflicts and noting all aircraft and vehicles in the vicinity. He said never saw the dolly until the airplane struck it. The pilot said about his airplane, "... it has decent forward visibility when in the three-point configuration and normally does not require weaving to be able to see objects off the nose. At only one foot high, completely flat, and neutral in color, the object (helicopter dolly) is quite difficult to spot. The dolly was placed in a common movement area." The area through which the pilot taxied was considered a non-movement area. According to the 2005 Aeronautical Information Manual, non-movement areas are taxiways and apron (ramp) areas not under control of air traffic. Aircraft clearance from other aircraft or objects while taxiing in these areas is the responsiblity of the pilot. FAA inspectors observed a faded "NO TAXI" marking on the non-movement area approximately 30 feet south of the helicopter dolly. The marking was located such that the pilot would have taxied over it before striking the helicopter dolly.

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

the pilot not maintaining clearance from the portable helipad during taxi after landing resulting in the airplane colliding with it. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's selection of a taxi route through a non-movement area, his inability to see the portable helipad, and the helipad.

Full narrative available

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