NTSB Identification: WPR13IA020
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Friday, October 19, 2012 in Dolan Springs, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2014
Aircraft: AGUSTA A119, registration: N207CF
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
After arriving at the site of the vehicle accident, command post personnel advised the emergency medical services (EMS) flight crew that they did not have a patient for them and that the flight crew was authorized to depart. An EMS crewmember reported that he requested that the vehicle traffic, which had been stopped as a result of the traffic accident, be held until they departed. The on-scene fire department captain, who was in charge of directing the arriving and departing aircraft and had left the area before the helicopter departed, also requested before his departure that ground traffic be held until the helicopter had lifted off. However, on-scene law enforcement personnel who were controlling the traffic stated that they had not received either request. During the helicopter’s engine startup, which the operator authorized the pilot to perform whether ground traffic was moving or not, one flight crewmember was positioned outside of the helicopter directing ground traffic around the helicopter’s right side. The crewmember subsequently boarded the helicopter, and, shortly after, a truck collided with the tips of the helicopter’s main rotor blades, which resulted in significant damage to the truck and minor damage to the helicopter’s main rotor blades. If standard traffic incident management procedures had been strictly adhered to by the agencies involved, it is likely that this event would not have occurred.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: Insufficient clearance between a truck and the main rotor blades of a helicopter on the ground with the engine running because of the lack of on-scene coordination between the agencies that responded to and were tasked with managing the vehicle accident site.
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