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NTSB Final Report: Monrovia, IN

Location:

Monrovia, Indiana

Accident Number:

CEN20LA304

Date & Time:

July 24, 2020, 13:16 Local

Registration:

N383ES

Aircraft:

Brantly B2B

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Defining Event:

Loss of control in flight

Injuries:

1 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Flight test

Analysis

The pilot was performing an annual inspection and maintenance flight for the helicopter at the time of the accident. After the pilot completed three or four short flights prior to attempting an additional flight. During this flight, the helicopter was exiting translational lift when it dipped and turned right abruptly and hit the ground. Postaccident examination of the helicopter confirmed flight control continuity. Additional examinations of the engine were limited due to damage incurred from impact damage and postimpact fire. The reasons for any loss of control and/or engine failure could not be determined.

There was no available evidence that a medical factor contributed to the crash.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s loss of control after takeoff for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.

Findings

Aircraft                                    (general) - Unknown/Not determined

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb - Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent - Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On July 24, 2020, about 1316 eastern daylight time, a Brantly B2B helicopter, N383ES, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Monrovia, Indiana. The pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 maintenance test flight.

A witness stated that the pilot was performing a maintenance test flight, after a 100-hour interval and annual inspection was performed. The pilot completed three or four short flights around the pilot's property before taking off and traveling southerly at an altitude of about 20 ft above ground level. The pilot’s wife stated that it sounded like the helicopter was “missing.” A witness stated that it looked like the helicopter was exiting effective translational lift when the helicopter dipped, it turned right abruptly, and hit the ground. A post-crash fire started immediately, and the wreckage was destroyed. 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial; Flight instructor            Age:

75,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None                                            Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter                                     Restraint Used:

 

Instrument Rating(s):

None                                            Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

Helicopter                                     Toxicology Performed:

Yes

Medical Certification:

Class 3 With waivers/limitations        Last FAA Medical Exam:

February 5, 2019

Occupational Pilot:

Yes                                              Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

(Estimated) 4400 hours (Total, all aircraft)

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Brantly

Registration:

N383ES

Model/Series:

B2B

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

1963

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

344

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

2

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

Annual

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

1670 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

 

Engine Manufacturer:

Lycoming

ELT:

 

Engine Model/Series:

IVO-360-A1

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

180 Horsepower

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)                        Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

Distance from Accident Site:

 

Observation Time:

Direction from Accident Site:

 

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Visibility

 

Lowest Ceiling:

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

/                                      Turbulence Type

Forecast/Actual:

None /

Wind Direction:

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

Temperature/Dew Point:

 

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Monrovia, IN (PVT )               Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Monrovia, IN (PVT )               Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Airport Information

Airport:

Private PVT

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

804 ft msl

Runway Surface Condition:

Soft;Vegetation

Runway Used:

 

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Passenger Injuries:

 

Aircraft Fire:

On-ground

Ground Injuries:

 

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

39.570869,-86.500274(est)

The wreckage was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The landing gear skid were separated from the fuselage. The main rotor assembly and tail rotor assembly were separated from the fuselage and tailboom, both of which were resting along the wreckage path. The tailboom, with the tail rotor driveshaft, was attached to the fuselage.

A postaccident examination of the engine cylinders using a borescopeshowed no amonalies. Continuity of the engine valve and drive train to the accessory section was confirmed. The accessories could not undergo functional testing due to post-crash fire and impact damage. Examination of the flight control system confirmed flight control continuity.

Medical and Pathological Information

The pilot initially survived and was transported to a hospital for specialized burn/trauma care. No significant pre-existing natural disease was documented. An early hospital blood test for ethanol was negative. The pilot succumbed to his injuries on the day of the accident.

The Marion County Coroner's Office performed the pilot’s autopsy, which was limited to an external examination only. According to the autopsy report, the cause of death was thermal burn injuries, and the manner of death was accident.

Toxicological testing detected the medications amlodipine and atorvastatin in the pilot’s blood. Those medications generally are not considered impairing. Also detected in blood were morphine, ketamine, norketamine, and etomidate, all of which were attributable to medications administered to the pilot during his initial medical care after the accident.

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Gallo, Mitchell

Additional Participating Persons:

Leslie Thompson; Federal Aviation Administration; Indianpolis FSDO; Plainfield, IN

Original Publish Date:

August 16, 2022                                       Investigation Class:    3

Note:

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

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=101666

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Created 163 days ago
by Admin

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