EMS brownout.
PIC: Comm, Part 91.
Cave Creek AZ.
Eurocopter AS350.
Prelim report (no injuries).

While attempting to land at an accident site on 02-22-09, an AS350 on an EMS mission was substantially damaged when the pilot, using night vision goggles (NVGs), lost visual contact with the ground and landed hard. After arriving on scene, the pilot performed an aerial recon. Asking ground personnel if the dirt-covered landing zone had been watered down, he was told it "looked damp."

Continuing the approach, the pilot noticed a dust cloud developing about 30 ft above the ground. At approximately 15-20 ft dust completely enveloped the helicopter causing a "brownout." Due to a fire truck's lights at the scene, the pilot lost visual reference with the ground through his NVGs causing him to land hard.

Impact short of runway.
PIC: ATP, Part 135.
OTZ (Kotzebue AK).
CASA C212.
Prelim report (no injuries).

A CASA C212 was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain on 02-16-09 while maneuvering for landing at OTZ. The cargo flight was operating under a special VFR clearance and the pilot reported flying a normal VFR pattern prior to the accident.

According to a flight service specialist, the wind shifted while the aircraft was inbound causing the visibility to drop from 1 1/4 to 1/4 mile. When both pilots lost sight of the airport, a go-around was initiated but the aircraft crashed 1/2 mile short of the runway.

Flat light crash.
PIC: ATP, Part 135.
OME (Nome AK).
Piper Navajo.
Prelim report (6 injured).

While descending to OME the pilot of a Piper Navajo experienced "flat light" conditions on 02-19-09. The plane sustained substantial damage when it collided with snow covered terrain. The Part 135 VFR flight departed KTS (Brevig Mission AK) and was enroute to OME when weather conditions deteriorated.

In an interview with NTSB the pilot reported he contacted a FSS specialist to request the weather conditions at OME and was told the weather was below VFR. The pilot requested and was given a special VFR clearance. During the descent, a snow shower began and the pilot was unable to differentiate the snow covered hilly terrain from the ceiling.

Crash after takeoff.
PIC: Unreported.
Trigoria, Italy.
Cessna Citation III.
Prelim report (2 killed).

On 02-07-09 a Citation III crashed in Trigoria, Italy shortly after taking off from CIA (Ciampino, Rome, Italy). The flight was bound for Bologna, Italy and VMC prevailed at the time.

Ski plane clips trees.
PIC: CFI, Part 91.
Kenai AK.
de Havilland DHC2 Beaver.
Prelim report (no injuries).

During a training flight with the Civil Air Patrol on 02-20-09, a DHC2 Beaver equipped with wheel/skis was substantially damaged on a frozen lake. The VFR flight was to familiarize the rated pilot with ski equipped aircraft. After the student pilot completed several touch and go landings the instructor took the controls. He applied full power for the takeoff but the aircraft did not clear the trees on the edge of the lake.

Oilrig helo ditches.
PIC: Not reported.
Near Aberdeen, Scotland.
Eurocopter EC225.
Prelim report (no injuries).

A Eurocopter EC225 ditched in the North Sea approximately 125 nm east of Aberdeen, Scotland on 02-18-09 at approximately 1840 GMT. The helicopter was substantially damaged in the water landing.

Helo autorotation.
PIC: ATP, Public use.
San Clemente CA.
MD600N.
Prelim report (3 injured).

The pilot and 2 passengers of a US Customs MD600N were seriously injured on 02-19-09 when an engine problem caused the pilot to execute a 180 degrees autorotation on to the beach in San Clemente CA. The passengers reported hearing a "bang" and seeing warning lights illuminate prior to the pilot performing the emergency maneuver during the night VMC flight. Post accident investigations revealed that both engine chip detectors were contaminated with metal shavings.

Failed simulated ship landing.
PIC: ATP, Part 91.
NC61 (Moyock NC).
Hughes 369F.
Prelim report (1 killed).

While practicing special tactical ship landings on 02-24-09, a Hughes 369F was substantially damaged when its skid was caught on a rail. After the student completed several practice landings, the flight instructor took control of the aircraft and circled the training site. He then made an approach to the top rail of the "ship."

The student pilot saw the tip of the skid was under the rail but the helo flipped over before he could tell the instructor. The instructor was killed and the student was injured. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports constitute the primary source materials for Professional Pilot Accident Reports.