NTSB Identification: ERA12LA477
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in St. Petersburg, FL
Aircraft: HUGHES 269C, registration: N9679F
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
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 July 24, 2012, about 1900 eastern daylight time, a Hughes 269C helicopter, N9679F, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and an uncontrolled descent during hover over the owner's business property in St. Petersburg, Florida. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot the helicopter's last annual inspection was completed 12 years prior to the accident flight. On the day of the accident he decided to fly it to lubricate the parts. After liftoff, he brought the helicopter to a hover about 25 feet in the air and initiated some pedal turns. The nose of the helicopter then began to drift towards the right. He applied left pedal but did not experience a response. The helicopter then continued to circle; the pilot dropped the collective, the helicopter impacted the ground on the left skid, struck a fence, and then rolled over on its left side.
According to witnesses the helicopter hovered about 50 feet in the air. It did not circle but, appeared to move side to side, and was described as being out of control before it impacted the ground.
Post accident examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not reveal any preimpact failures or malfunctions of the helicopter which would have precluded normal operation. During the examination it was discovered however, that the cyclic control system would not move freely as the friction lock was on.
According to FAA and maintenance records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1971. At the time of accident, the helicopter had accrued approximately 2,393 total hours of operation.
According to FAA and pilot records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 26, 2012. He reported that he had accrued 1,183 total hours of flight experience, of which, 365 hours were in the accident helicopter make and model.
The reported weather at Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida, at 1900, included: winds 250 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 26 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.
Index for Jul2012 | Index of months