On January 22, 1995, at 1045 mountain standard time, a Robinson Helicopter, R22 BETA, N269ME, impacted terrain while attempting to climb near Placitas, New Mexico. The two pilots aboard were not injured and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Coronado Airport, Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a destination of Tucumcari, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for this ferry flight and no flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The aircraft was on a delivery ferry flight with the owner serving as second pilot (pilot rated passenger). According to information provided by the owner, the flight encountered adverse winds, which the owner labeled "windshear," while transiting along a canyon ridge line at 8,100 feet msl (above mean sea level). The owner said that they lost translational lift and gradually settled into the trees. He also stated that no mechanical difficulties were on going at the time of the accident.
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector interviewed the pilots. This paragraph is a summary of his enclosed statement. They were attempting to fly as direct a route as possible and elected to fly over the north end of the Sandia Mountains. "They were climbing at about 600 feet per minute through 8,000 feet MSL, at Vy of 53 knots and an altitude of about 150 feet to 200 feet AGL, at maximum continuous power." They encountered a loss of airspeed, which the pilots attributed to windshear, and rotor RPM decreased. Subsequently, the helicopter settled into trees. (See attached FAA inspector statement).