Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N529RS accident description

Hawaii map... Hawaii list
Crash location 20.898611°N, 156.430556°W
Nearest city Kahului, HI
20.894722°N, 156.470000°W
2.6 miles away
Tail number N529RS
Accident date 16 Aug 2004
Aircraft type Bell 206B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 16, 2004, at 1025 Hawaiian standard time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N529RS, was substantially damaged following a dynamic rollover during takeoff from the Kahului Helipad at the Kahului Airport, Kahului, Hawaii. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to, and operated by, Pacific Helicopter Tours Inc., Kahului, as a positioning flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Big Island of Hawaii.

According to a written statement provided by the pilot, he listened to the airport's ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service; recorded voice message that provides weather and airport services information), and received a clearance for takeoff. According to the pilot, "there was a moderate wind and the [helicopter] was in a direct crosswind" on the ramp. During takeoff, the pilot "slowly increased the collective while maintaining [his] heading and attitude with the pedals and cyclic." As the helicopter became light on its skids, the pilot noticed "a little left drift due to the power increase and crosswind," which he corrected for with left pedal input. The helicopter stabilized and the pilot continued to apply increase collective input. As the helicopter's nose began to rise, the pilot "noticed the left skid becoming high." The pilot countered the right roll with left cyclic; however, the skid continued to rise. The pilot increased left cyclic and attempted to reduce collective pitch "immediately," but the helicopter continued rolling to the right. The pilot then heard loud impact, crashing, and cracking sounds.

Witnesses to the accident indicated the left skid started to lift during the takeoff while the right skid remained in contact with the ground. The helicopter rapidly rolled over the right. The helicopter sustained structural damage to the fuselage, right horizontal stabilizer, and the lower half of the vertical stabilizer. The main rotor hub, main rotor blades, and one of the tail rotor blades separated from the helicopter. The majority of the main rotor blade/hub assembly came to rest approximately 150 feet aft of the helicopter, while a 2-foot section of a main rotor blade sliced through a parked A-Star helicopter, a hangar wall, and storage closet wall before coming to rest in the storage closet ceiling. No one on the ground was injured.

The Kahului airport winds at the time of the accident were reported from 045 degrees at 17 knots with gusts to 21 knots. According to Pacific Helicopter's Safety Officer, the helicopter was facing their hangar and the wind was from the pilot's left side.

The pilot indicated there were no anomalies with the helicopter that would have contributed to the accident. The pilot held a commercial rotorcraft certificate and accumulated a total of 451.7 hours of flight time. His total time in helicopters and the Bell 206B equated to 214.8 hours and 6.6 hours, respectively. His last flight in the Bell 206 prior to the accident took place on July 12, 2004.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's inadequate compensation for the gusty crosswind conditions, which resulted in a dynamic rollover. Contributing factors were the direct crosswind and his lack of total experience in the accident helicopter make and model.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.