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NTSB Prelim: MD Helicopters Inc 369

He Did Not Possess A Helicopter Rating At The Time Of The Accident

Location: Loxahatchee, FL Accident Number: ERA22FA160
Date & Time: March 18, 2022, 14:32 Local Registration: N650AG
Aircraft: MD Helicopters Inc 369 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 18, 2022, at 1432 eastern daylight time, an MD Helicopters 369HM, N650AG, was destroyed after it impacted power lines near Loxahatchee, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated by the commercial pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single engine sea, and instrument airplane. He did not possess a helicopter rating at the time of the accident; he had a logbook endorsement for solo student flight with the prohibition of carrying passengers. The commercial pilot was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate on October 28, 2021. He reported 1,200 hours of total flight experience at that time.

The pilot-rated passenger held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and an instrument rating. The pilot-rated passenger did not have any helicopter experience.

According to preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data obtained from the FAA, the helicopter departed Antiquers Aerodrome (FD08), Delray Beach, Florida, about 1358 and flew north over swampy, state land. The data further showed the helicopter flying at altitudes from 25 to 75 ft above ground level, and at speeds between 83 and 100 knots, before colliding with high-voltage power lines. The power lines were measured at 80 ft. The data ended at 1432.

The wreckage was located in a swampy field. Power lines were observed on the ground near the wreckage. The wreckage path began where the power lines were located and continued for about 250 ft on a 270° magnetic course. The wreckage was laying on its right side and oriented about a 320° heading. The skids were separated from the helicopter, and all four main rotor blades were fractured off the hub. One main rotor blade could not be located in the swamp. Power line impression marks were found on the landing light housing and the skid brackets. The tail rotor was located about 30 ft from the main wreckage. Parts from the engine cowling, tail section and engine were found scattered in the wreckage path. The instrument panel was intact.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov


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