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NTSB Final Report: Miami, FL

Location: Miami, Florida

Date & Time: February 1, 2024, 18:34 Local

Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II

Defining Event:

Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Other work use

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Injuries:

Accident Number: ERA24LA118

Registration: N521LS

Aircraft Damage: Substantial

4 None

Analysis

During an air tour flight at night, the pilot of the helicopter noted that the oil pressure and temperature gauges were displaying indications that were in the “red area,” so he decided to perform a precautionary landing to a closed helipad. During the precautionary landing, while maneuvering the helicopter just prior to touchdown, the tail rotor contacted a plastic pipe that protruded up about 2 ft from the ground. The pilot further described that it was very dark and that he was unable to see the pipe. Following the tail rotor strike, the helicopter landed hard, deforming the landing skids. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer during the accident.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Tail rotor contact with an unseen object while performing a precautionary landing to a closed helipad at night.

Findings

Environmental issues Hidden/submerged object - Effect on equipment

Environmental issues Dark - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-hover Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)

Landing Hard landing

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Commercial

Age:

54,Male

Airplane Rating(s):

None

Seat Occupied:

Right

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Helicopter

Restraint Used:

3-point

Instrument Rating(s):

None

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

None

Toxicology Performed:

 

Medical Certification:

Class 2 With waivers/limitations

Last FAA Medical Exam:

March 1, 2023

Occupational Pilot:

Yes

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

March 5, 2023

Flight Time:

520 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 400 hours (Pilot In

 

Command, all aircraft), 90 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft),

 

2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Registration:

N521LS

 

COMPANY

 

 

Model/Series:

R44 II

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Year of Manufacture:

2015

Amateur Built:

 

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

13907

Landing Gear Type:

Skid

Seats:

4

Date/Type of Last

October 8, 2023 100 hour

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

2500 lbs

Inspection:

 

 

 

Time Since Last Inspection:

 

Engines:

1

Airframe Total Time:

2159.8 Hrs at time of accident

Engine Manufacturer:

 

ELT:

Not installed

Engine Model/Series:

 

Registered Owner:

GLOBAL AERIALS INC

Rated Power:

 

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s)

None

 

 

Held:

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual (VMC)

Condition of Light:

Night

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KMIA

Distance from Accident Site:

8 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

19:53 Local

Direction from Accident Site:

 

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Scattered

Visibility

10 miles

Lowest Ceiling:

Broken / 5500 ft AGL

Visibility (RVR):

 

Wind Speed/Gusts:

3 knots /

Turbulence Type

None / None

 

 

Forecast/Actual:

 

Wind Direction:

320°

Turbulence Severity

N/A / N/A

 

 

Forecast/Actual:

 

Altimeter Setting:

30.07 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

20°C / 12°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

 

Departure Point:

Pembroke Pines, FL (HWO)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Destination:

Pembroke Pines, FL (HWO)

Type of Clearance:

None

Departure Time:

18:35 Local

Type of Airspace:

Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger

3 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Injuries:

 

 

 

Ground Injuries:

 

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

4 None

Latitude,

25.784129,-80.173595(est)

 

 

Longitude:

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Boggs, Daniel

Additional Participating

Ivan Redford; FAA/FSDO; Miramar, FL

Persons:

 

 

Original Publish Date:

April 12, 2024

Last Revision Date:

 

 

Investigation Class:

Class 4

Note:

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

Investigation Docket:

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket?ProjectID=193827

 

 

 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant events in other modes of transportation— railroad, transit, highway, marine, pipeline, and commercial space. We determine the probable causes of the accidents and events we investigate, and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future occurrences. In addition, we conduct transportation safety research studies and offer information and other assistance to family members and survivors for each accident or event we investigate. We also serve as the appellate authority for enforcement actions involving aviation and mariner certificates issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and US Coast Guard, and we adjudicate appeals of civil penalty actions taken by the FAA.

The NTSB does not assign fault or blame for an accident or incident; rather, as specified by NTSB regulation, “accident/incident investigations are fact-finding proceedings with no formal issues and no adverse parties … and are not conducted for the purpose of determining the rights or liabilities of any person” (Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 831.4). Assignment of fault or legal liability is not relevant to the NTSB’s statutory mission to improve transportation safety by investigating accidents and incidents and issuing safety recommendations. In addition, statutory language prohibits the admission into evidence or use of any part of an NTSB report related to an accident in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report (Title 49 United States Code section 1154(b)). A factual report that may be admissible under 49 United States Code section 1154(b) is available here.

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Created 65 days ago
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