NTSB Identification: NYC08IA145
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Saturday, March 22, 2008 in New York, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2009
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS355F1, registration: N406LH
Injuries: 5 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
The pilot initiated a takeoff to a hover from the helipad while another helicopter was running at a low rotor rpm on an adjacent helipad. He turned his attention to the engine instruments in the cockpit and initiated a left turn in preparation for departure. The tail skid of his helicopter then struck the rotor of the other helicopter. The pilot landed his helicopter back on the helipad and shut the engines down. The pilot had approximately 10 hours experience in the accident helicopter make and model, which was the twin-engine version of the single-engine helicopter in which he was significantly more experienced. Examination of the heliport revealed helipad spacing substantially less than that advised by Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 150/5390-2B, Heliport Design.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The pilot's inadequate visual lookout and subsequent failure to maintain clearance from the other helicopter due to his focus on the engine instruments during the initial departure. Contributing to the accident was insufficient helipad spacing. Full narrative available
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