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N238BK accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 37.841666°N, 89.807222°W
Nearest city Perryville, MO
37.724220°N, 89.861220°W
8.6 miles away
Tail number N238BK
Accident date 01 Jul 2017
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 1, 2017, about 2036 central daylight time, a Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BK 117 B2, N238BK, helicopter, landed hard and rolled over during an emergency landing to a field near Perryville, Missouri. The pilot, three crew members, and a passenger received minor injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as Kids Flight, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 medical flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the St. Francis Medical Center (MO50), Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about 2019 and was en route to the St. Louis Children's Hospital (2MU1), St. Louis, Missouri.

The pilot reported that at 1901, he was notified by the Air Methods Communication Center (AirCom) concerning a flight request. The pilot accepted the flight and after ensuring all necessary requirements were completed, the flight departed at 1922 for MO50, which was approximately 50 nautical miles (nm) to the southeast. The pilot reported that the helicopter departed with 140 gallons of fuel in the main fuel tanks. The flight arrived at MO50 about 1949.

About 2015, the medical crew arrived at the helicopter pad and loaded the patient on board the helicopter. About 2019, the helicopter departed for 2MU1, which was approximately 85 nm on a 338-degrees heading. The pilot reported that there was 110 gallons in the main fuel tanks.

The pilot reported that after 15 minutes of flight, he scanned the instruments and gauges "noting that all systems were in the normal range and fuel was transferring from the main tank." He reported that the fuel level indication was approximately 95 gallons in the main tanks and the supply tanks were "just below the full indication," and that there were no illuminated lights on the warning/caution panel. The airspeed was 120 kts at an altitude of 1,600 ft above mean sea level - about 1,200 ft above ground level (agl).

The pilot reported that when the flight was about 5 miles north of Perryville, Missouri, the helicopter "experienced a sharp change in attitude yawing to the left with a hard-upward bump," followed by a change in the engine noise. He observed the N1 gauges both indicating below 40 per cent and decreasing. The No. 1 engine low warning light, the No. 1 generator light, and the battery discharge warning lights were illuminated. He stated, "Suddenly the aircraft pitched nose up and rolled to the right. I could hear the rotor begin to deteriorate." He entered an autorotation by applying right forward cyclic and lowering the collective to full down.

During the autorotative descent, he saw a power lines and a ditch which required him to change his flight path to land on the far side of the ditch. He flared the helicopter about 100 ft agl and the rotor rpm began to decay rapidly. He attempted to level the helicopter "as it began to fall through." The helicopter landed right skid low and the helicopter skidded for about 100 ft. The main rotor blades hit the ground as the helicopter rolled onto its right side. Once the helicopter came to a rest, he pulled the power levers to the stop position.

The pilot and flight crew, with the patient on a stretcher, egressed the helicopter. The pilot reported that he observed fuel draining in a solid stream from one of the drains on the belly of the helicopter. He re-entered the cockpit and turned off all electrical and fuel switches to minimize the risk of fire.

At 1955, the surface weather observation at Hunter Field (SAR), Sparta, Illinois, located 15 nm northeast of the accident site, was: wind light and variable; 10 miles visibility; sky clear; temperature 26 degrees C; dew point 17 degrees C; altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Methods Corporation, Honeywell, and the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation, with Airbus as its technical advisor.

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