On April 21, 2006, about 0306 central daylight time, a Eurocopter EC135T2, N914EF, registered to Fifth Third Leasing Co. and operated by CJ Systems Aviation Group, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, had a hard landing at the Tri-County Airport Bonifay, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed. The commercial-rated pilot and one of the two paramedics onboard were not injured, the second paramedic received minor injuries, and the helicopter incurred substantial damage. The flight was originating at the time. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the helicopter was brought to a hover and began acceleration down runway 19 for the takeoff. At approximately 100 feet above the ground, while at 100 kts, with no visible warning, he entered clouds but the runway was still visible underneath. He started an abort and began a level deceleration. Immediately after he lowered the collective the paramedic in the front seat said " Rotor RPM" and he looked inside to see what was happening. When he looked back outside the helicopter, about a second later, his first visible reference was trees and bushes rapidly approaching. He pulled max torque and within 1 or 2 seconds the helicopter landed level and hard, just off the side at the very end of the runway. The helicopter bounced into the air after the impact. He brought the helicopter to a hover and noted the helicopter was dangerously close to bushes and trees. He maneuvered the helicopter away from the tree line toward the runway and landed at the helipad. After landing, the right rear of the helicopter was noted lower then normal. Everyone onboard exited the helicopter without assists. The operator stated there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions to the helicopter or any of its systems prior to the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident stated that the landing skids were splayed outwards with the apparent appearance of a hard landing. Damage to the helicopter was noted to the bottom of the enclosure surrounding the tail rotor blade.