NTSB Identification: ERA13LA022B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in West Chester, PA
Aircraft: HUGHES 369A, registration: N369SN
Injuries: 5 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 October 13, 2012, about 0920 eastern daylight time, two helicopters, a Hughes 369A, N546, and another Hughes 369A, N369SN, collided while in a hover taxi at Brandywine Airport (OQN), West Chester, Pennsylvania. The 2 occupants in N546 and the 3 occupants in N369SN were not injured. N546 sustained substantial damage to all four main rotor blades and tail pylon. N369SN sustained substantial damage to the left landing skid. Both helicopters were operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The helicopters were part of a flight of 5 helicopters that attended an annual all helicopter airshow.

According to the pilots an internal radio call from the flight leader stating to “break or land” resulted in the breakdown of flight integrity and eventually the contact between the 2 helicopters.

Initial examination of the helicopters by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the left landing skid of N369SN separated from the helicopter. The rotor system and tail pylon of N546 exhibited substantial damage from the contact.

According to FAA records, the pilot of N546 held a private pilot certificate, with a rating for a rotorcraft-helicopter. The pilot of N369SN held a commercial pilot certificate, with a rating for a rotorcraft-helicopter. The pilot of N546 had 586 total flight hours of which 253 of those hours were in the accident aircraft make and model. The pilot of N369SN had 1617 total flight hours of which 92 of those hours were in the accident aircraft make and model.

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