NTSB Identification: WPR13TA081
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Friday, December 28, 2012 in Renton, WA
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 407, registration: N407KS
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 public aircraft accident report.

On December 28, 2012, about 1015 Pacific standard time (PST), a Bell Helicopter, Model 407, N407KS, made a hard landing during a ground handling operation at Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington. King County Sheriff’s Department was operating the helicopter under public-use. The commercial pilot was not injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail rotor system and to the fuselage. The local law enforcement flight was preparing to departed Renton when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that while preparing to depart from the raised platform, as he increased the throttle the platform started to rotate. The pilot attempted to stop the rotation by retarding the throttle, but was unsuccessful. The helicopter came off of the platform and the helicopter sustained damage to the tail rotor system, fuselage, and the landing gear.

The platform was locally fabricated by the King County Sheriff’s Department. It consisted of a platform with 8 sets of casters (total of 16 wheels). The sheriff uses these carts to move aircraft in and out of their hangar. With the exception of the rear fixed casters, the remaining 6 sets of casters swivel. The fixed casters (one wheel in each corner of the cart) were chocked to prevent movement of the cart before the aircraft was operated.

Other operators at RNT use similar landing platforms which use six casters. It was noted that these operators chock the corner swivel casters to prevent movement of the cart.

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