Accidents: June 2017

 - June 4, 2017, 12:12 PM


Beech 18 Ditches in Alaska after Engine Failure

Beechcraft G18S, March 3, 2017, Smuggler’s Cove, Alaska—A twin-radial Beechcraft G18S registered to Point to Point Air carrying 1,000 pounds of clams ditched two miles southwest of Metlakatla, Alaska, following total loss of engine power in the right engine. The ATP-rated pilot and right-seat passenger suffered minor injuries. The airplane was on an IFR flight plan in IMC from Klawock Airport (PAKW), Alaska, at 7:34 a.m., en route to Ketchikan International Airport (PAKT), Ketchikan, Alaska.

According to the pilot’s written statement, after an ILS approach to PAKT Runway 11, he performed the missed approach procedure and the right engine seized during the climb-out at about 2,000 feet msl. The pilot directed the passenger in the right front seat to help navigate to Annette Island Airport and perform radio communications. He attempted to feather the right engine, but the propeller would not feather. He was unable to maintain altitude. The passenger declared an emergency and requested radar vectors for terrain clearance.

The airplane descended through the clouds five miles north of Annette Island Airport to an altitude of 100 to 200 feet with about one mile of visibility. Descending through 50 feet, the pilot set up a ditching in Smuggler's Cove near the coastline.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau directed a response vessel from Coast Guard station Ketchikan and an MH-60 from Air Station Sitka. The Metlakatla fire department rescue boat was first on scene about 30 minutes after the accident and transported the pilot and passenger to Metlakatla medical clinic. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the waves were six feet high at Smuggler's Cove when they arrived.

Turkish S-76 Destroyed after Takeoff

Sikorsky S-76C++, March 10, 2017, Istanbul, Turkey—A Sikorsky S-76C++ powered by two 922-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 turboshafts crashed shortly after takeoff from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (LTBA) in Istanbul, Turkey. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact and fire, killing the two pilots and five passengers. The flight was destined for Bozoyuk, Turkey. The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Government.

Mexican MD500 Hits Powerlines

MD500, March 13, 2017, Mexicali, Mexico—A Mexican-registered MD500 turbine single struck high-voltage power lines with its tail rotor while maneuvering near Mexicali, Mexico. Video evidence shows the aircraft coming apart in flight as it spun to the ground, killing the pilot and four passengers. The local flight departed nearby General Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada International Airport (MMML). The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC).

French Bell 206 destroyed

Bell 206, March 15, 2017, Figeac, France—A Bell 206 was destroyed and the pilot died when it crashed into terrain near Figeac, France, while on a domestic flight from Poitiers Biard (LFBI) to Mouret. The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the BEA.


Challenger 601 Loss of Control on Landing

Bombardier Challenger 601-3R, Jan. 5, 2014, Aspen, Colo.—A Challenger 601-3R was destroyed in a landing accident that was the result of an unstabilized approach to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Colo. (KASE), killing the copilot and seriously injuring the captain and passenger.

The flight originated from Tucson International Airport (KTUS), Ariz., and was uneventful until the flight crew performed a missed approach after vectors to the LOC/DME-E approach to Runway 15 at KASE. ATC vectored the airplane for a second LOC/DME-E approach to Runway 15. The local controller informed the flight crew that the wind was from 330 degrees at 16 knots and the one-minute average wind was from 320 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 25 knots. These winds were near or exceeded the airplane's maximum landing tailwind and crosswind components.

The initial part of the airplane's second approach was normal; however, in the final minute of flight the pilots added and pulled power five times, and with the resultant pitch oscillations the airspeed varied between 135 knots and 150 knots. Final runway touchdown force was about 6 gs.

NTSB investigators completed performance calculations to determine if the airplane could have gone around. Assuming the crew had control of the airplane and that power was set to the appropriate climb setting, anti-ice was off and the sustained tailwind was less than 25 knots, they found that the airplane could have completed a go-around, clearing obstacles along that path.

The Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was “the flight crew's failure to maintain airplane control during landing following an unstabilized approach. Contributing to the accident was the flight crew's decision to land with a tailwind above the airplane's operating limitations and the crew’s failure to conduct a go-around.”

Challenger Brake Malfunction

Bombardier Challenger 601, July 22, 2015, Palm Beach International Airport, Palm Beach, Fla.—A Challenger 601 was substantially damaged when it struck an all-terrain ground vehicle (ATV) while taxiing at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Fla. No one was injured. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the flight crew's failure to adhere to the “before start” checklist, to monitor the airplane's motion, and to see and avoid objects around the airplane, which resulted in an inadvertent roll into a ground vehicle.

According to the captain, the flight crew was “rushed” to depart and forgot to close the baggage door. After the prestart checklist and with both engines running, he noticed that ground personnel on an ATV were waving their arms to get his attention. The captain then realized the baggage door was open and went back to close the door. He closed it, returned to his seat and resumed reviewing the checklist. The captain then looked out the side window and noticed the airplane was rolling forward and, according to the CVR, said, “What are you doing?”

There is the sound of a warning or alert tone as the first officer responded, “I didn't do anything. What's going on? What is going on? Stop.”

The captain replied, “I don't know.” Then the CVR recorded sounds of engines shutting down, followed by a sound consistent with a collision.

Both pilots applied maximum brake pressure. The captain then reached over and shut down the engines at the same time the first officer released and re-applied the parking brake, halting the aircraft. The captain claimed he heard no alarms or sounds.

Ground service personnel said they attempted to communicate with the left-seat pilot, but she never looked up. The left wing struck the ATV before the airplane stopped.

The airplane was operated by USAC Airways 691, doing business as Paragon Jets. Paragon Jets' director of maintenance inspected the airplane's hydraulic and braking systems under the supervision of an FAAinspector and noted no anomalies.

CVR data revealed the flight crew completed no tasks associated with the formal prestart checklist. The recorder did capture a conversation of an informal checklist along with a departure briefing. The Challenger 601-3A/3R “before start” checklist states the wheel chocks must be removed, hydraulic pressure verified and the parking brakes set before engine start.

Bell 206 Tail-rotor Driveshaft Failure

Bell 206B, Nov. 21, 2016, Bathurst, NSW, Australia—A pilot and farm manager conducting an aerial inspection sustained minor injuries when the Bell 206B in which they were flying experienced a tail-rotor driveshaft failure about 16 nm south of Bathurst, New South Wales. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau commented that the incident highlights the importance of robust and current training in emergency procedures, and that identifying a problem and reacting quickly can reduce the severity of damage and injuries.

During normal cruise the pilot raised the collective and turned the helicopter to follow down-sloping terrain. Some 75 feet agl at 40 knots airspeed the pilot and passenger heard and felt a bang. The pilot looked outside to see if there was any damage to the spray booms on the helicopter and in the back seat to see whether anything had fallen onto the floor; he decided to land to determine the cause of the bang. As he slowed the helicopter it started to yaw rapidly to the right and tail-rotor authority was lost. The pilot immediately rolled the power to the ground idle detent and, as the helicopter stopped yawing, lowered the collective. Rotor rpm dropped to about 80 percent. The pilot pulled back on the cyclic, but the helicopter landed hard enough to trigger the ELT. The belly tank (for spraying) absorbed some of the impact and the spray booms prevented the helicopter from rolling over.

The tail-rotor driveshaft was found fractured at the No. 2 bearing and the tail-rotor blades were undamaged, indicating that they were probably not rotating when the helicopter struck the ground. There were scrapes inside the tail-rotor driveshaft cowling, suggesting that the shaft was rotating when it fractured. There was no evidence of oil leakage, overheating, corrosion or vibration of the tail-rotor driveshaft system.

The helicopter, Serial Number 714, was fitted with a long tail-rotor driveshaft. The manufacturer required the single long driveshaft to be replaced with a segmented shaft in Serial Numbers 1252 and above. The helicopter was fitted with a data augmentation monitoring system, which did not show any abnormalities.

The tail-rotor bearings were “on condition” items and the driveshaft was inspected every 1,200 hours and was in good condition apart from the fracture after the accident. On Aug. 18, 2016, the No. 1 and No. 3 tail-rotor driveshaft bearings and tail-rotor gearbox were replaced. On Sept. 29, 2016, the No. 1 tail-rotor bearing and bearing hanger were replaced. Post-accident inspection did not reveal any abnormalities.

Bell Helicopter reported that the single long tail-rotor driveshaft (P/N 206-040-330-001) was replaced with segmented shafts in Bell 206Bs about 45 years ago. At Serial Number 1252, all 206Bs and follow-on 206B3s were equipped with segmented shafts; however, the long shaft is still procurable through Bell. The manufacturer reported that the long tail-rotor driveshaft has not been a safety concern, with no other recent failures.

Short-field Landing Damages Meridian

Piper PA-46 Meridian, Dec. 2, 2016, Midland, Va.—An annual insurance review flight went bad in a Piper Meridian when the pilot receiving instruction said he was told to perform an extreme short-field landing. According to the pilot, his flight instructor told him to be “50 feet over the numbers at 75 kias, then go to flight idle, push the nose down and land short.” On short final the airplane descended rapidly. Spool-up lag prevented the engine from responding immediately and the airplane landed hard and bounced, substantially damaging the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The NTSB noted that the flight manual for the PA-46-350P [piston-powered Mirage] states: “For a short-field technique, flaps are to be full down, airspeed 78 kias, throttle as required. Once over the obstacle on final, throttle reduced to idle. After touchdown, brakes maximum.” The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's improper landing flare and subsequent hard landing while demonstrating a short-field landing and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action.