NTSB Identification: CEN12LA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Amarillo, TX
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N2068X
Injuries: 2 Minor.
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On April 26, 2012, about 1652 central daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N2068X, impacted terrain while landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA), Amarillo, Texas The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Chesapeake Bay Helicopters Inc, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an aerial surveillance flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was not filed. The helicopter was destined for AMA and had departed about 1600 from Moore County Airport (DUX), Dumas, Texas.
The pilot reported that he was aware of a very large storm system nearby and was making an approach to the southeast and was landing “straight in to the hangar”. As he began to flare to stop the descent his cyclic stick was hindered by interference from a laptop computer in the left seat passenger’s lap and the passenger immediately moved the obstructing laptop computer. The helicopter was then about level with the hangar roof when the nose of the helicopter pitched up and the nose of the helicopter began a sudden uncommanded turn spinning to the right. The pilot reported that left pedal input had no effect and he had only partial control as the helicopter made a full 360 degree spinning turn, descended and impacted terrain. Both occupants exited the helicopter unassisted.
At 1653 a weather observation at AMA reported: wind from 120 degrees true at 19 knots gusting to 25 knots, visibility 10 statute miles or greater, thunderstorm, few clouds at 9,000 feet agl, scattered clouds at 11,000 feet agl, temperature 28 degrees Celsius, dew point temp 14 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.84 inches Hg, peak wind during previous hour from 110 degrees true at 27 knots at 1634, thunderstorm began at 1647, sea-level pressure 1005.4 hPa, hourly temperature 27.8 degrees Celsius and hourly dew point temperature 14.4 degrees Celsius.
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