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N852BP accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 31.569723°N, 108.873889°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Lordsburg, NM
32.350361°N, 108.708665°W
54.8 miles away
Tail number N852BP
Accident date 17 Oct 2014
Aircraft type Airbus Helicopters As 350 B3
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 17, 2014, about 1245 mountain daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 helicopter, N852BP, rolled over on its right side during takeoff near Lordsburg, New Mexico. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to the United States Department of Homeland Security and operated by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a public use flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the CBP investigators, the helicopter departed from a level terrain area, drifted backward and the aft right skid contacted a rock, which was embedded in the ground and 10 inches of it was exposed. After contact, the helicopter hinged around a rock, the rotor blades impacted the ground and the helicopter rolled over to the right side. The fuselage was substantially damaged during the accident sequence.

At 1256, the automated weather observation at the Bisbee Douglas International Airport, Douglas/Brisbee, Arizona, located 38 miles west of the accident site, reported: calm wind, visibility 10 miles, clear sky, temperature 79° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 39° F, and altimeter setting 30.08 inches of mercury.

The CBP investigators examined the wreckage and determined that there were no anomalies with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Representatives from Airbus Helicopters downloaded and analyzed the data from the Vehicle Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD). All of the recorded failures were associated with the ground impact. The parameters associated with the failures and times of the failures did not indicate any preimpact anomalies.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate drift control and skid clearance from the ground during takeoff, which resulted in a dynamic rollover when the aft right skid contacted a rock.

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