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N863H accident description

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Tail numberN863H
Accident dateMarch 08, 2009
Aircraft typeBell 206-L4
LocationMoundridge, KS
Near 38.211389 N, -97.565278 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On March 8, 2009, approximately 1426 central daylight time, a Bell 206-L4 helicopter, N863H, was substantially damaged upon impact with terrain near Moundridge, Kansas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant of the helicopter, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. The helicopter departed Searle Field Airport, Ogallala, Nebraska at 1204 and was en route to an undetermined destination at the accident.

A nearby resident heard the helicopter's engine "rev to a high RPM" twice followed by two to three "thump" or "whump" sounds. There are no reported eyewitnesses to the accident.

The helicopter impacted a wheat field in a rural area. The wreckage path was over 100 yards in length along an approximate heading of 120 degrees. The first ground scars were two tail rotor strikes following by four main rotor strikes. The wreckage separated into four main sections. The sections consisted of the tail boom, the aft cabin, the forward cabin including the transmission, and the engine.

The helicopter was equipped with a SkyConnect system, which was configured to transmit a position report back to the operator's facility in Idaho every two minutes. The last SkyConnect transmission occurred at 1424 with the helicopter heading 115 degrees, travelling at 113 knots, and at an altitude of 1,749 feet mean sea level (roughly 280 feet above ground level). This last transmission was about 1.4 nautical miles northwest of the accident site.

At 1415, an automated weather reporting facility at Newton City Airport (KEWK), located about 19 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, reported wind from 260 degrees at 15 gusting to 22 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 29.94 inches of Mercury.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.