Floatplane unsuccessful landing.
PIC: ATP, Part 135.
Stehekin WA. de Havilland Canada Beaver.
Prelim report (2 killed, 3 injured).
On 05-17-08, a de Havilland Canada DHC2 Beaver Mk 1 amphibian flipped over during a water landing on Lake Chelan, near Stehekin WA when the pilot landed the aircraft on the water with the wheels down. The floatplane was substantially damaged. Witnesses stated the airplane appeared to make a normal approach after it had flown 40 miles from the departure airport.
They said that, immediately after the plane made contact with the water, it nosed over and came to rest inverted suspended by its floats. The pilot and 2 surviving passengers exited the aircraft and were hanging onto the floats when the witnesses arrived to help by boat less than 5 minutes later. The bodies of the other 2 passengers were removed from the airplane 15-20 minutes later.
Cargo flight crash after takeoff.
PIC: ATP, Part 135. BIL (Billings MT).
Prelim report (1 killed).
In the evening of 05-23-08, a Beech 1900C operating a cargo flight was destroyed on impact 2 min after takeoff from BIL (Billings MT). The pilot, on an IFR flightplan, was the sole occupant. The impact and post-crash fire destroyed the aircraft. According to ATC data, the pilot departed Runway 10L and flew a heading of 070 degrees . He was advised to change his transponder code from VFR to the assigned IFR code.
The pilot corrected the code and then climbed to his assigned altitude of 16,000 ft and a new heading of 310 degrees. After reaching the assigned altitude, he was told to turn to 290 degrees, intercept Victor 187 and resume own navigation. The pilot responded to ATC but, according to the radar data, the aircraft turned slowly to the right. After 45 seconds, ATC transmitted to the pilot but lost radar contact. The pilot did not respond to the ATC's radio message. After witnessing an explosion to the northeast of the field, the tower controller asked the status of the airplane from the departure controller.
Helicopter crash on landing.
PIC: Comm, Part 135.
Prelim report (3 killed, 3 injured).
On 05-24-08, after arriving at Santa Catalina Island CA, an Aerospatiale AS350D AStar hit the ground while landing. The Part 135 flight had departed CL30 (Queensway Bay Heliport, Long Beach CA) with a commercial pilot, a company employee and 4 passengers. VMC prevailed at the time. According to witnesses, the helicopter was approaching the island approximately 300 ft above the surface. The wreckage ended up near a series of power lines, but investigators said there was no evidence the helicopter had hit the power lines during the landing. Witnesses reported hearing a "pop" sound and then saw flames coming from the back of the engine.
Helicopter crashes with FAA inspector on board.
PIC: ATP, Part 91.
MI97 (Butterworth Hospital Heliport, Grand Rapids MI).
Prelim report (2 injuries).
A Sikorsky S76 was destroyed by post-impact fire on 05-29-08 after it crashed during takeoff when the tail rotor struck a tower while departing a hospital rooftop heliport. An FAA inspector was on board the aircraft at the time. He was giving a routine FAR Part 135 evaluation to the EMS pilot, who had just completed a GPS approach to the hospital in VMC. After discussing construction cranes on the north side of the hospital and their possible effect on the approach and departure routes to the pad, the pilot began his takeoff. The pilot stated that he had lifted the helicopter straight up during the takeoff and that "everything was nominal." He stated that at approximately 40 ft he heard a pop.
At that point the helicopter started to yaw slightly to the right and a vibration occurred. He continued that he added left pedal to arrest the yaw, which appeared to work temporarily, but then the right yaw increased rapidly. As he tried to return to the helipad by using the cyclic and lowering the collective, the main rotor blades struck the hospital structure located east of the helicopter pad. The helicopter fell straight down and hit the hospital roof. Following the crash sequence, the FAA inspector, who was sitting in the left seat, exited the helicopter by "shimmying" out the pilot's chin bubble on his back. He then helped the pilot get out of the helicopter by the same route.
A fire, which had started during the initial impact, consumed the aircraft after both pilots had been freed. At least 2 witnesses observed the accident. A hospital nurse reported that she watched the helicopter take off and drift backwards. As it drifted back she saw the aircraft's tail rotor hit the tower. A second witness observed the accident from across the street in a building. From a 7th-floor window, he reported watching as the helicopter's tail rotor "clipped the radio tower about mid-span," whereupon "the tail rotor immediately disintegrated."
PIC: Comm, Part 135.
Prelim report (4 killed, 1 injured).
On the morning of 04-15-08, while enroute to a remote communication site in Alaska, a Eurocopter AS350B collided with terrain. The commercial pilot and 3 passengers received fatal injuries and 1 passenger was seriously injured. According to the NTSB preliminary report, 1 passenger-a communications technician-was dropped off at a communication site and the helicopter continued on to a second site with 3 other technicians. When the aircraft did not return 4 hours later, the technician contacted his company to notify them of the overdue helicopter.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports constitute the primary source materials for Professional Pilot Accident Recaps.