On May 24, 2012, at 1503 eastern daylight time, a Schweizer 269C, N7505Y, sustained substantial damage during a practice run-on landing at Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), Asheville, North Carolina. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight, which was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot receiving instruction, who was also the owner of the helicopter, the purpose of the flight was to conduct a flight review. Approximately 50 minutes into the flight, the CFI asked the pilot to demonstrate a run-on landing to runway 16. The pilot conducted the approach for landing at about 40 knots and touched down left of the runway centerline on both skids. As he lowered the collective, the helicopter's right center skid shoe contacted a runway centerline light, shearing off the right skid and its support arms.
The pilot raised the collective, picked the helicopter up to a hover, and turned towards the taxiway in order to land. Shortly after, the engine and rotor RPM began to drop, and the pilot opened the throttle and lowered the collective, setting the helicopter onto the left skid. The helicopter rolled over and came to rest on its right side, resulting in substantial damage to the main rotor blades.
A postaccident examination by the pilot revealed that, during the right skid's impact with the centerline light, the front landing gear crossbeam was pushed aft, crimping the fuel supply line.
The owner held a private pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating. He reported 290 hours of total flight time, of which 118 hours were in the accident helicopter make and model. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on May 23, 2012.
According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1988 and was equipped with a Lycoming HIO-360, 190-horsepower reciprocating engine. Its most recent annual inspection was conducted on June 30, 2012. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had accumulated 1,716 total flight hours.
According to a representative from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, all skid shoes installed on the Schweizer 269 helicopters during production were comprised of a single piece of steel which conformed tightly to the skid. Examination of photographs revealed that the skid shoes installed on the accident helicopter were constructed from a flat metal plate attached to the skid by two brackets, resulting in a small gap between the skid shoe and the skid. The Sikorsky representative said that the skid shoes observed were not representative of those installed or sold as replacements by the manufacturer.
Review of both the helicopter’s maintenance logbook and FAA airworthiness records did not reveal any entries relating to replacement of the skid shoes.
Postaccident examination of the runway centerline lights by an FAA inspector did not reveal any anomalies with the placement or orientation of the lights.