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NTSB Final Report: Patterson, Louisiana

Location:

Patterson, Louisiana

Accident Number:

CEN21LA456

Date & Time:

September 25, 2021, 06:55 Local

Registration:

N662RL

Aircraft:

Bell 407

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Ground collision

Injuries:

3 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled

Analysis

While hovering from the helicopter pad to reposition for takeoff, the pilot backed up the helicopter. During a pedal turn, the tail rotor contacted another helicopter’s main rotor blades, which was parked and located behind on another pad. The pilot reported she felt a strong jolt to the left, and the helicopter began to spin. The pilot lowered the collective, reduced throttle, and the helicopter came to rest upright adjacent to the helicopter pad.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom. The operator reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate clearance from a parked helicopter while hovering to reposition for takeoff.

Findings

Personnel issues

Environmental issues

Monitoring environment - Pilot

Aircraft - Awareness of condition

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-into takeoff position           Ground collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial; Flight instructor

Age:

25,Female

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

4-point

Instrument Rating(s):

Helicopter

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

Helicopter

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Without waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

October 8, 2020

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

May 1, 2021

Flight Time:

1479 hours (Total, all aircraft), 255 hours (Total, this make and model), 1479 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 142 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 36 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Bell

Registration:

N662RL

Model/Series:

407

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

1997

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

53203

Landing Gear Type:

None; Skid

Seats:

7

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

September 24, 2021 AAIP

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

5250 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Turbo shaft

Airframe Total Time:

25222 Hrs as of last inspection

Engine Manufacturer:

Rolls Royce

ELT:

C126 installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

250-C30

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

650 Horsepower

Operator:

 

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

Commuter air carrier (135)

Operator Does Business As:

RLC, LLC

Operator Designator Code:

YTRA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KPTN,9 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

1 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

07:01 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

18°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Few / 200 ft AGL

Visibility

0.25 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

/                                      Turbulence Type

Forecast/Actual:

None / None

Wind Direction:

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

N/A / N/A

Altimeter Setting:

30.11 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

14°C / 14°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

Moderate - None - Mist

 

Departure Point:

Patterson, LA

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

Company VFR

Destination:

Type of Clearance:

VFR

Departure Time:

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Airport Information

Airport:

HARRY P WILLIAMS MEML PTN

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

8 ft msl

Runway Surface Condition:

Dry

Runway Used:

 

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

2 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

 

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

3 None

Latitude, Longitude:

29.709043,-91.335891(est)

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Sauer, Aaron

 

Additional Participating Persons:

Michael Wilson; FAA; Baton Rouge, LA

 

Original Publish Date:

November 16, 2021                                   Investigation Class:

4

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.

 

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=103974

 

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