DEN04CA058
DEN04CA058

On April 8, 2004, at 1500 mountain standard time, a Eurocopter France EC 130 B4, N151AC, operated by Air Methods, Incorporated, was substantially damaged when it encountered terrain and subsequently rolled over at the Front Range Airport (FTG), Watkins, Colorado. The airline transport certificated flight instructor and the commercial certificated dual student reported no injuries. The instructional flight was being conducted on a company visual flight rules flight plan under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The local flight originated at FTG.

The instructor pilot reported that he was conducting a commercial checkride. He and the dual student, flying the helicopter, were in a hover approximately 4-5 feet above the ground and oriented on a 190-degree heading. While at that location, the helicopter began to yaw and drift to the left. The instructor pilot said he put in opposite pedal but the helicopter continued to yaw and drift to the left. The helicopter struck the ground, left skid low on a 30 to 45 degree down angle. The instructor said he took control of the helicopter and attempted to maintain a level attitude. The helicopter bounced and then struck nose low and rolled to the right.

The helicopter was examined at the accident site. The helicopter was found resting on its right side in a field between the runways. The helicopter's main rotor system, right skid, and right side fuselage were substantially damaged. An examination of the engine, controls, and other helicopter systems revealed no anomalies. The Federal Aviation Administration inspector on the scene said conditions were very windy. He also said that when considering the wind conditions and the way the helicopter impacted the ground, the winds may have contributed to the accident.

At 1453, the wind conditions at FTG were 190 degrees at 8 knots with gusts to 15 knots.

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