Airframe Wire Cutter Appears To Have Helped Avoid More Serious
It may not sound like a glorious job... but powerline survey
has its share of risks and rewards. In the case of an errant Bell
206, the risks exceeded the rewards on December 10th as the helo
hit the stats line atop the powerline. Despite damage to the
airframe and rotors, the pilot was able to get the bird safely to
the ground... whew...
NTSB Identification: ERA11LA083
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, December 10, 2010 in Isom, KY
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N263CH
Injuries: 1 Minor, 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 December 10, 2010, about 1150 eastern standard time, a Bell
206B, N263CH, performed an emergency landing next to a roadway
after impacting electrical wires near Isom, Kentucky. The
helicopter departed from a remote location near Louisa, Kentucky,
about 1030, for the local aerial power line observation flight.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was
filed. The certificated airline transport pilot received minor
injuries and the two passengers were not injured. The helicopter
sustained substantial damage to the support post around the pilot
side door and damage to the fuselage on the front and pilot side of
the helicopter. The flight was operated under the provisions of 14
Code of Federal Regulations Part 135.
According to the pilot, he was performing a power line survey
flight for charter and also had employees from the power company
onboard. The helicopter was cruising about 60 to 70 knots when it
impacted the static line on top of the powerline. He reported that
he never lost control of the helicopter, but put it down as soon as
he could in a parking lot, which was about one-quarter mile from
the wire strike. He further stated that prior to the wire strike;
there were no mechanical anomalies with the helicopter.
The Federal Aviation Administration inspector that responded to
accident location reported that the helicopter impacted a 3/8 inch
diameter, 7-strand wire. A few of the strands were severed by the
wire cutter located below the main rotor mast, and a 12 inch piece
of the strand remained in the wire cutter. One main rotor blade
exhibited damage approximately 1 foot from the rotor tip. Control
continuity was confirmed to all flight controls and no damage was
observed to the landing gear.