NTSB Identification: CEN11FA599
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, August 26, 2011 in Mosby, MO
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS-350-B2, registration: N352LN
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On August 26, 2011, at 1841 central daylight time (all times cdt), a Eurocopter AS-350-B2 helicopter, N352LN, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during an autorotation following a loss of power near the Midwest National Air Center (KGPH), Mosby, Missouri. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient received fatal injuries. The emergency medical services (EMS) equipped helicopter was registered to Key Equipment Finance, Inc., and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as LifeNet in the Heartland. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 medical flight departed from the Harrison County Community Hospital, Bethany, Missouri, about 1811, and was en route to KGPH to refuel. After refueling, the flight intended to depart and land at Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri, which was located about 7 nautical miles (nm) from KGPH on a 235 degree heading. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed.
The purpose of the air medical inter-facility transport flight was to transport a patient from the Harrison County Community Hospital to Liberty Hospital. The request was received by the company’s communication center at 1719 and the pilot was notified at 1720. At 1730, the pilot reported to the communication center that he departed from the helicopter’s base at Rosecrans Memorial Airport (KSTJ), in St. Joseph, Missouri. He reported that he lifted off with two hours of fuel and 3 persons onboard and was en route to Bethany, Missouri. Approximately 28 minutes later, at 1758, the helicopter landed at the Harrison County Community Hospital helipad to pick up the patient.
While the helicopter was shut down on the helipad, the pilot contacted the company’s communication center by telephone and notified them that about half way through the flight from KSTJ, he realized that he did not have as much fuel onboard as he originally thought. After a discussion about possible fueling and re-routing options, the pilot elected to stop en route at KGPH for fuel, and then proceed to the Liberty Hospital helipad to drop off the patient. The person, who was providing flight following to N352LN at the company’s communication center, informed the pilot that Liberty Hospital was 62 nm, and that KGPH was 58 nm distant, respectively.
About 1811, the flight departed from the Harrison County Community Hospital helipad. About a minute later, the pilot contacted the company’s communication center and reported that he had 45 minutes of fuel and 4 persons onboard and was en route to KGPH. He asked the flight follower at the company’s communication center to contact the fixed base operator at KGPH to let them know that the helicopter was inbound for fuel. At 1841, the helicopter impacted a farm field about 1.7 nm miles north-northeast of KGPH. There was no postimpact fire.
At 1754, the surface weather observation at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (KMKC), Kansas City, Missouri, located about 21 nm southwest of the accident site, was: wind 110 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 31 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.96 inches of Mercury.
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