On August 12, 2001, approximately 1145 mountain daylight time, a Hughes 369FF helicopter, N530TJ, was substantially damaged when it landed hard during a forced landing following a loss of engine power approximately 15 miles northeast of Kemmerer, Wyoming. The helicopter was operated by Omni Aviation Services, LLC of Lafayette, Louisiana. The airline transport certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the external load flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 133. The flight originated at a staging area 15 miles northeast of Kemmerer approximately 1100. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot's accident report, the helicopter was being used to support seismic operations in the area and had just dropped off several bags of equipment. He made a right pedal turn to move away from a steep hillside at an altitude of "about 200 feet agl" (above ground level) and a speed of "20 to 30 knots." He "heard the engine begin to 'spool down' and the aircraft began descending." The pilot initiated an autorotation, and the helicopter landed "hard on the right rear skid, which collapsed dropping the [aircraft] onto its right side." He stated that "the rotor rpm had dropped below the green line by the time I had the pitch full down and by the reaction of the [aircraft] at the bottom, I do not think I had gained much back at the time of ground contact."
According to the operator, the damage to the helicopter was substantial. The helicopter and engine were sent to Arrow Aviation in Broussard, Louisiana, for examination. According to the Arrow Aviation report, 2 quarts of fuel were pumped from the fuel cells. No water or contaminants were detected in this sample. One ounce of fuel was drained from the engine fuel filter, and 3 ounces of fuel were drained from the engine-driven fuel pump filter bowl. No fuel was found in the engine supply line. Metallic particles were found in the fuel control inlet filter screen.