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N300FX accident description

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Tail numberN300FX
Accident dateNovember 02, 2008
Aircraft typeRobinson R-44
LocationGallatin, TN
Near 36.336389 N, -86.438055 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On November 2, 2008, about 1812 central standard time, a Robinson R-44 helicopter, N300FX, registered to a private individual, crashed into the Cumberlin River, in Gallatin, Tennessee. The instructional flight was operated by Noble Aviation LLC., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The student pilot was killed, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The flight departed from Lebanon Municipal Airport (M54), Lebanon, Tennessee, at 1800, enroute to Cornelia Fort Airpark (M88), and return to M54.

According to witnesses in the local area, at about 1810, several residents heard the helicopter in there immediate area. They stated that they believed that it crashed in the river just west of the State Road (SR) 109 bridge. One witness stated that he heard two distinctive "Wap Wap" sounds then nothing. Another witness stated that she heard a "metal to metal" sound then the impact. She believed that something had hit her medal boat dock. However, examination of the boat dock found no damage.

Preliminary radar data indicated that the helicopters flight path was over the river and after crossing over the SR 109 bridge, was lost from radar.

The pilot was located and recovered, on November 11, 2008; the main wreckage was located on November 16, 2008, and recovered on November 18, 2008. Examination of the helicopter found the tail boom separated from the main wreckage. Damage to the cockpit and cabin area included the pilot’s seat and separation of the instrument panel. The collective control was found in the full extended position. The helicopter was retained by NTSB for further examination.

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