HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On August 18, 1994, approximately 1510 mountain daylight time, a Fairchild Hiller FH-1100, N435FH, was destroyed while landing in an open field near Van Horn, Texas. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross country flight.
The helicopter departed El Paso, Texas, on a flight to the Dallas, Texas, area. A witness observed the "aircraft going southeast, it then made a sudden turn to the right and started a 30 to 40 degree down flight." The aircraft did not make any other turns while in the witness's view. A post impact fire destroyed the helicopter.
The pilot was not certificated in helicopters. He had been previously endorsed by a certificated flight instructor for local solo flight. The flight instructor reported he had given the pilot 10 to 15 hours of flight training in the accident helicopter.
The aircraft's airframe and engine log books were not located. The next of kin reported the log books were normally kept in the helicopter. The helicopter was fueled prior to departing El Paso, Texas. The fuel invoice indicated 21 gallons of Jet-A fuel was purchased and the invoice indicated a request to "top off" the fuel.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The helicopter came to rest 60 feet from the initial ground scar, which contained pieces of skid and other structure, on a measured magnetic heading of 360 degrees. The main rotor blades remained attached to the main rotor blade grip/hub assembly. The tail boom was separated from the main fuselage and the main fuselage was destroyed by fire. Examination of the helicopter at the accident site did not disclose any mechanical anomalies. See enclosed wreckage diagram for wreckage distribution details.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed by Juan U. Contin, M.D., El Paso, Texas. There was no evidence of any preexisting disease that could have contributed to the accident. Toxicological findings were negative.
TEST AND RESEARCH
A disassembly inspection of the Allison Model 250-C18, S/N 800693 gas turbine engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have contributed to the accident. There was a heavy rub of the #3 turbine wheel to the #4 nozzle blade path. Dirt that was lodged in the shroud of the #3 turbine wheel appears to match the sandy loam present at the accident site.
The helicopter wreckage was released to the owner's representative.