NTSB Identification: ERA13FA014
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 09, 2012 in Coolbaugh Township, PA
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N108MF
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.
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 October 9, 2012, about 2000 eastern daylight time, a Bell 407, N108MF, operated by ACS Helicopters LLC., was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain in Coolbaugh Township, Pennsylvania. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and one passenger was seriously injured. The corporate flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Westchester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, New York. The flight last departed Elmira/Corning Regional Airport (ELM), Elmira, New York about 1845.
According to recovered cockpit documentation and passenger interviews, on the day of the accident, the helicopter departed Somerset Airport (SMQ), Somerville, New Jersey at 0730 for Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. After arriving at MMU at 0753, the pilot boarded four passengers, and then departed at 0830 for Camden County Airport (19N), Berlin, New Jersey, where it arrived at 0920. After having breakfast, the four passengers then played golf from approximately 1030 to 1500, and then socialized for approximately an hour before returning to the airport, where they once again boarded the helicopter. At 1630, the helicopter then departed for SMQ, landing there at 1710, and deplaned one passenger. At 1720 the helicopter departed once again, this time for ELM with three of the original four passengers onboard. After arriving at ELM at 1830 another passenger deplaned, and at 1845 the helicopter with the pilot and two of the original four passengers departed for HPN.
According to a limousine driver who was supposed to pick up one of the passengers at HPN, at 1938 he received a text from the passenger stating that they were "running late". Then at 1953, he received another text instructing him to go back to MMU to pick up the passenger. After arriving at MMU, the driver waited but the helicopter never arrived.
A search by Federal, State, and Local authorities was initiated. On October 10, 2012 at approximately 0230 the helicopter was discovered in a heavily wooded area approximately 1.3 miles northwest of Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania.
Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that after striking trees, the helicopter struck the ground coming to rest on its right side. Further examination revealed that the ground was saturated with fuel, there was still fuel onboard the helicopter, and there was no evidence of any preimpact failures, or malfunctions of the rotor system, flight control system, or aircraft structure.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, with commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent application for an FAA first-class medical certificate was dated June 1, 2012. On that date, he reported 19,000 hours of flight time.
According to FAA and maintenance records the helicopter was manufactured in 2007.The helicopter's most recent annual inspection was completed on August 3, 2012. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had accrued 837.3 total hours of operation.
The recorded weather at MPO, at 2003, included: wind 100 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 1 1/4 miles, light rain, mist, overcast ceiling of 200 feet, temperature 09 degrees C, dew point 09 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.
The helicopter was retained by the NTSB for further examination.
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