Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N291LL accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.616667°N, 106.088055°W
Nearest city Santa Fe, NM
35.686975°N, 105.937799°W
9.7 miles away
Tail number N291LL
Accident date 27 Dec 2003
Aircraft type Aerospatiale AS 365 N-2
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On December 27, 2003, approximately 1545 mountain standard time, N291LL, an Aerospatiale AS 365 N-2, operated by Aerowest Helicopters, Inc., and doing business as New Mexico Life Rescue, was destroyed when it struck a hangar while taxiing at Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The commercial pilot, the only occupant aboard, was not injured, Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the positioning flight being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe approximately 1530.

According to the pilot's accident report, the wind was from "270 degrees at 16 knots with gusts unknown" when he landed on runway 28. He then ground taxied on taxiways Charlie and Alpha towards the Santa Fe Jet maintenance hangar. He described his ground taxi speed as "a fast walk pace." As the helicopter passed between two sets of hangars, "high velocity winds from the left (270 degrees)...lifted the left wheel off the ground." He applied left cyclic control and left tail rotor control that brought the helicopter off centerline to the left. He maneuvered the helicopter and focused on the same corner of the hangar "as I always did" when parking. "As soon as I was starting to use right pedal, the [main rotor] blades impacted the hangar door," and the "torque of the blades pulled the aircraft nose around into the hangar door, causing [the helicopter] to land on its left side."

According to FAA inspectors and the operator, the helicopter was destroyed.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain lateral clearance from the hangar. A contributing factor was the gusty crosswind.

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