NTSB Identification: DFW06TA127.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 16, 2006 in Santa Teresa, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2008
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350-B3, registration: N183AE
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.
The purpose of the instructional flight was to conduct simulated emergency governor operations. The single-engine helicopter landed hard in a near level flight attitude in a slight tail low attitude. The landing gear skids collapsed on impact causing the lower vertical fin and tail rotor assembly to make contact with the ground, bucking the tailboom at the forward attaching points. The helicopter slid on it's fuselage 250 feet from the point of impact and came to rest in an upright position. The left pilot seat attenuated as designed but there was no evidence of attenuation on the right pilot seat. The crew performed an emergency engine shutdown and egressed unassisted. The wreckage of the helicopter was recovered to the facilities of the operator's secured facilities for further examination. The investigator examined the helicopter systems and tested the throttle twist grip for anomalies. The tests on the throttle twist grip simulated actions taken during the training flight. Several cycles of the governor from the "auto" mode to the "manual" mode for two minutes and back to the auto made for 3 minutes were performed to determine if a problem would occur that would restrict manual throttle operation. The examination determined after several cycles, that the solenoid that retracted to allow manual throttle manipulation would not fully retract and created a restriction due to heat generated during the activation. The helicopter seats were examined to determine if the any anomalies existed with the crash attenuating seats. The left front seat was documented as fully attenuating during the crash sequence and the right front seat had not attenuated. The seats were shipped for analysis to it's manufacturer's facilities in France for further testing. The examination and testing revealed that the seats met specifications and evidence on the right seat showed that the seat attenuation was initiating but did not appear to have sustained sufficient forces to fully stroke.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flight instructor's improper supervision of the flight which resulted in a hard landing. Full narrative available
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