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Thu, Sep 08, 2011

NTSB Prelim Suggests Todd Green Lost Grip On Both Aircraft In Transfer

Apparently Attempted To Grab Helo Skid Before It Was In Place For The Stunt

The NTSB's preliminary report in the accident which fatally injured air show stuntman Todd Green suggests he attempted to reach for the skid of the helicopter before it was in the correct position to complete the stunt. Green lost his footing on the Stearman biplane in the attempt to transfer between it and a helicopter flying overhead during an air show at Selfridge Air National Guard Base on August 21st.

Todd Green


NTSB Identification: CEN11LA606B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, MI
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER HUGHES 269C, registration: N7505B
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On August 21, 2011, at 1335 EDT, an attempted aerial transfer of an individual (wing walker) from a Boeing A75N1 Stearman airplane, N49739, to a Hughes 269C helicopter, N7505B, resulted in a fatal injury to the wing walker during an air show performance at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (MTC), Mount Clemens, Michigan. Neither aircraft were damaged during the accident; nor was either of the pilots injured. Both aircraft landed normally after the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and a Certificate of Waiver issued for the air show. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from RMY about 1315.

The airplane pilot stated that the wing walker fell during their third pass. He reported that the wing walker was to wait for a cue from the helicopter pilot when both aircraft were in position for the transfer. He stated that the wing walker jumped to reach the skid on the helicopter before it was in position, letting go of the handle on the airplane. The wing walker was unable to regain a hold of the handle on the airplane and fell. The airplane pilot noted that the wing walker did not normally let go of the handle on the airplane until his arm was wrapped around the skid on the helicopter.

The helicopter pilot reported that the aerial transfer was planned to occur on the third pass. The initial passes went according to their plan. However, on the third pass, the wing walker attempted to grab the helicopter skid prior to the briefed transfer point. The helicopter pilot stated that the wing walker released his hold on the airplane handle, and lunged with both hands for the helicopter skid before the aircraft were in position. He reported that the wing walker attempted to go back to the airplane, but was unable to grab on to anything. The wing walker subsequently fell approximately 150 feet to the ground.

The wing walker was transported from the scene in critical condition, and subsequently died at a local hospital.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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