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NTSB Preliminary Report: Bluestem, WA

Location:

Bluestem, WA

Accident Number:

WPR24FA200

Date & Time:

June 19, 2024, 16:20 Local

Registration:

N323TT

Aircraft:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Injuries:

2 Fatal

COMPANY R44 II

 

 

 

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General aviation - Personal

 

 

 

On June 19, 2024, about 1620 Pacific daylight time, a Robinson Helicopters R-44 II, N323TT, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Bluestem, Washington. The pilot and the pilot-rated-passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s wife, he was returning the helicopter to the Coeur d’Alene / Pappy Boyington Field (COE), Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and invited a friend, who was a certificated airplane pilot.

Recorded Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed that the helicopter departed Boeing Field / King County International Airport (BFI), Seattle, Washington at 1328. The helicopter arrived at Bowers Field Airport (ELN), Ellensburg, Washington, about 1437, where according to the airport manager, the pilot purchased 14 gallons of fuel, prior to departing at 1511. ADS-B data showed the helicopter flew to the northeast while at an altitude between 2,500 to 3,800 ft mean sea level (msl) and a groundspeed of about 100 knots. The last ADS-B data point showed the helicopter at about 3,050 ft msl, or about 740 ft above ground level (agl), with a groundspeed of 69 knots, about 50 ft southwest of the accident site.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the helicopter impacted open, hilly, terrain. The helicopter came to rest upright at the first point of impact, on a heading of about 086° magnetic at an elevation of 2,182 ft msl. The tail rotor assembly and about two ft of the tail cone was separated from the helicopter and were located about 340 ft southwest of the fuselage. Fragments of the helicopter were located within the debris path between the fuselage and the tail rotor assembly. A postaccident fire mostly consumed the fuselage. The remainder of the tail cone, engine and main rotor assembly remained but were also thermally damaged.

The wreckage was transported to a secure facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

ROBINSON HELICOPTER

Registration:

N323TT

 

COMPANY

 

 

Model/Series:

R44 II

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Amateur Built:

 

 

 

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s)

None

 

 

Held:

 

Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

VMC

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KSKA,2461 ft msl

Observation Time:

16:55 Local

Distance from Accident Site:

21 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

22°C /2°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

6 knots / , 30°

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility:

10 miles

Altimeter Setting:

30.05 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Departure Point:

Seattle, WA (BFI)

Destination:

Cour d' Alene, ID (COE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Passenger Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Fire:

On-ground

Ground Injuries:

 

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

2 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

47.546733,-118.15535

Administrative Information

 Investigator In Charge (IIC): Salazar, Fabian

Additional Participating Persons: Troy Helgeson; Lycoming Engines; Williams Port, PA

Todd Pryor; Federal Aviation Administration; Spokane, WA

Thom Webster; Robinson Helicopters; Torrence, CA

Investigation Class: Class 3

Note:

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