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N141MK accident description

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Crash location 21.391666°N, 157.833333°W
Nearest city Honolulu, HI
21.306944°N, 157.858333°W
6.1 miles away
Tail number N141MK
Accident date 07 Jul 2002
Aircraft type Aerospatiale AS350 BA
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 7, 2002, about 1200 Hawaiian standard time, an Eurocopter AS350 BA, N141MK, collided with terrain while the pilot was attempting to land near Honolulu, Hawaii. Schuman Aviation, Ltd., was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 135. The pilot and three passengers were not injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan had been filed. The nonscheduled domestic passenger flight originated from Honolulu about 1140, with a planned destination of a landing site near Wili Wili Nui Ridge, about 7 miles from Honolulu.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator, passengers reported that the weather was good and the winds were calm. As the helicopter began the approach to landing, it passed over a 6-foot fence and settled hard onto dirt. The tail rotor struck the ground resulting in the loss of a tail rotor blade and damage to the tail boom. The aircraft rotated about 10 to 20 degrees in the dirt and the skids were not damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector recalled visiting the accident site and examining the helicopter after the accident occurred. He stated that the pilot was attempting to land the helicopter to the south, on downsloping terrain. The pilot told him that he had landed downhill, because while in the air, he ascertained that would be the best angle to execute a landing in the confined operation zone. The downwind conditions resulted in the tail boom of the helicopter being lower than normal. While the pilot was attempting to touchdown, the tail boom collided with the terrain. The gear box was destroyed and the tail boom was bent 30 degrees.

Despite numerous attempts by the Safety Board, the pilot and operator failed to submit an NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2).

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain adequate tail rotor clearance from the sloping terrain in unfavorable wind conditions.

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