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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA167
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, February 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/2017
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC130, registration: N864MH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the helicopter reported that, during the hover-taxi for departure in the ramp area, he was monitoring another helicopter that had just departed and then “brought [his] eyes inside [the helicopter]” to switch a radio frequency. As the pilot looked back outside, he observed “the nose of a big plane taxiing” from behind another parked airplane to his left. Subsequently, the pilot abruptly applied aft cyclic to stop the helicopter’s forward momentum, and the Fenestron struck the ramp. The pilot returned to the ramp area without further incident.
The Fenestron sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's abrupt cyclic/pitch attitude control movement, which resulted in a Fenestron ground strike.