Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N69PJ accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 32.888611°N, 105.479167°W
Nearest city Mayhill, NM
32.889542°N, 105.478038°W
0.1 miles away
Tail number N69PJ
Accident date 27 Jun 2014
Aircraft type Aerospatiale AS350B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

"***This report was modified on March 14, 2016. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.***

On June 27, 2014, at 1720 mountain daylight time, an Aerospatiale AS350B helicopter, N69PJ, collided with the terrain while landing at a private heliport at the P J Arabian Ranch, Mayhill, New Mexico. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. One passenger received minor injuries and a third passenger was seriously injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Pay Jay Air, Inc. as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Artesia Municipal Airport (ATS), Artesia, New Mexico, at 1645.

The pilot reported that upon reaching their destination he noticed the wind was "very gusty" and the wind sock indicated the wind direction was varying from a headwind to a 90 degree crosswind. Due to the wind, the pilot initiated a go-around, climbing 300 to 500 feet, and increasing the airspeed by 50 to 55 knots. He initiated a right turn at which time the helicopter encountered either a strong gust or "ground twister" which resulted in the helicopter nosing down 15 to 20 degrees. The pilot leveled the nose of the helicopter, but was unable to stop the descent rate. The helicopter impacted the terrain, bounced 10 to 15 feet in the air, and impacted the terrain a second time.

The wind condition recorded by the ATS AWOS, about 53 miles east of the accident site, at 1635, was from 260 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 25 knots. At 1715 the ATS AWOS reported wind from 260 degrees at 19 knots gusting to 29 knots.

The wind condition recorded by the Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport (ALM) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), located about 37 miles west of the accident site, at 1715, was 260 degrees at 19 knots gusting to 29 knots. The pilot reported that he checked the AWOS at this departure airport before he departed on the flight and that, at that time, it indicated wind 240 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 21 knots.

The pilot reported that there were no failures or malfunctions of the helicopter before the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain helicopter control while performing a go-around in strong, gusting wind conditions. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to initiate the flight in strong, gusting wind conditions.

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