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NTSB Final Report: Escalante, UT

Location:

Escalante, Utah

Accident Number:

WPR22LA261

Date & Time:

July 18, 2022, 16:30 Local

Registration:

N342WF

Aircraft:

Aerospatiale SA342J

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Defining Event:

Loss of control in flight

Injuries:

2 Minor

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General aviation - Personal

 

 

Analysis

The pilot reported that, he was transporting supplies to a remote landing site and had made multiple approaches and landings. He stated that on the final approach, cloud cover had cleared and the helicopter “felt heavy.” About 25-30 ft above the ground the helicopter began to sink and he could not recover. The helicopter hit hard and tipped forward onto its nose during landing, substantially damaging the airframe and main rotors. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident 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 control the helicopter’s descent rate during landing, which resulted in collision with terrain.

Findings

Personnel issues - Aircraft control - Pilot

Aircraft -  Descent rate - Not attained/maintained


Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering                               Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Private

Age:

38,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

4-point

Instrument Rating(s):

None

Second Pilot Present:

 

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 2 Without waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

January 31, 2022

Occupational Pilot:

No

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

190.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 90 hours (Total, this make and model), 114 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 112 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 70 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Certificate:

 

Age:

32

Airplane Rating(s):

 

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

 

Restraint Used:

4-point

Instrument Rating(s):

 

Second Pilot Present:

 

Instructor Rating(s):

 

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

 

Last FAA Medical Exam:

 

Occupational Pilot:

UNK

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Aerospatiale

Registration:

N342WF

Model/Series:

SA342J

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

1976

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

1470

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

5

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

May 2, 2022 Annual

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

4190 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

97 Hrs

Engines:

1 Turbo shaft

Airframe Total Time:

3551 Hrs as of last inspection

Engine Manufacturer:

Turbomeca

ELT:

C126 installed, not activated

Engine Model/Series:

Astazouxivh

Registered Owner:

 

Rated Power:

850 Horsepower

Operator:

 

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KPGA,4288 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

27 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

15:53 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

214°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Visibility

10 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

7 knots /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

260°

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

30.08 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

37°C / 7°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Cedar City, UT (KCDC)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Escalante, UT (1L7)

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

06:30 Local

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Minor

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

1 Minor

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

 

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Minor

Latitude, Longitude:

37.29,-111.14(est)

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Baker, Daniel

 

Additional Participating Persons:

Gordan Behunin; FAA; Salt Lake City, UT

 

Original Publish Date:

December 2, 2022                                                             Investigation Class:

4

Note:

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

 

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=105532

 

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