Wednesday, October 9, 2019

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Bloomsburg Fair Helicopter Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report detailing the events prior to the helicopter crash at the Bloomsburg Fair on the evening of September 28, 2019.

According to the report

On September 28, 2019, about 1930 eastern daylight time, an Enstrom F-28F helicopter, N380SH, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain and vehicles during an approach to a helipad at the Bloomsburg Fair in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was operated by J&J Shop HeliAir LLC. under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a local sightseeing flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated about 1920.

Surveillance video captured the final 19 seconds of the flight, which showed the helicopter approaching the helipad in a forward-moving hover. It then pitched up and simultaneously began a right yaw (clockwise turn). The helicopter subsequently completed two and a half descending spins before impacting vehicles and terrain.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the helicopter at the
accident site, the helicopter came to rest on its left side. The fuselage, tail boom, main and tail rotors sustained substantial damage. The fuel cap remained secured and a faint odor of fuel was present at the accident site. The passenger doors were not installed. The inspector reported that the operator held an FAA Letter of Authorization to conduct commercial air tour operations under Title 14 CFR Part 91.147.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for helicopter and airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in March 2019 and at that time, he reported a total of 8,400 flight hours.
According to FAA airworthiness records, the 3-seat helicopter was powered by a Lycoming HIO-360-F1AD, 225-horsepower engine.

At 1954, the weather conditions reported at Williamsport Regional Airport, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which was located about 25 miles from the accident site, included calm wind, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 22°C, and dew point 19°C. A wind sock that was visible in the surveillance video was consistent with calm wind at the time of the accident.

Information posted from National Transportation Safety Board Preliminary Report

(Submitted Photo)

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