NTSB Preliminary Report – 04-Oct-11 N3925A Eurocopter EC120B

NTSB Preliminary Report – 04-Oct-11 N3925A Eurocopter EC120B

28-Oct-2011 Source: NTSB

This is the text from the Preliminary Report.  By its very nature, the details are subject to change and should not be relied upon. The Final Report for this incident will be issued in due course:-

On October 4, 2011, approximately 1250 central daylight time, N3925A, a Eurocopter EC120B, sustained substantial damage while making a run-on landing to a grass field 10 miles east of McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE), McAllen, Texas. The pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the Public Use flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot and the border patrol agent had been dispatched to provide aerial support for an on-going border patrol mission. When the pilot realized there would be a delay in time for when they needed to engage in the mission he decided to land in a grass field and sit idle (to conserve fuel) until their assistance was needed. He said he made a run-on landing to avoid creating a brown-out condition. However, as the helicopter touched down and moved forward (approximately 34 feet) it nosed over and the main rotor blades struck the ground. The helicopter subsequently nosed over and traveled another 34 feet before it came to rest on its right side.

Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed the and fenestron were substantially damaged. The skids, along with the main and tail rotor blades were also damaged.

The pilot reported there were no mechanical problems prior to the accident.

Weather at McAllen Airport, at 1253, was reported as wind variable at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds 5,500 feet, temperature 30 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 13 degrees Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.13 inches Hg.

Updated on Oct 14 2011 8:59AM

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