Helicopter training accident.
PIC: ATP, FAA.
Jackson MS.
Robinson R22.
Prelim report (1 killed, 1 injured).

Two FAA aviation safety inspectors were conducting proficiency flying in a Robinson R22 on 09-01-09 when it crashed into the porch of a house in Jackson MS after an un­known inflight problem. One pilot was killed and the other was left in critical condition. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Hard landing after autorotation.
PIC: Not reported, public use.
WJF (Lancaster CA).
Eurocopter AS350B2.
Prelim report (3 injured).

A Eurocopter AS350B2 AStar was substantially damaged on 08-13-09 following a practice 180° autorotation at WJF (Lancaster CA). The training flight, which had departed VNY (Van Nuys CA), was being conducted by the Los Angeles Police Dept–Air Support Division with 2 pilots and a passenger. The pilots had completed several successful practice autorotations. The check pilot noticed on the accident maneuver that the aircraft was too low at the 90° turn point and was not going to make the intended touchdown point. The pilots reported adding power to initiate a power recovery but the helicopter developed a high sink rate and hit the ground before the pilots could recover.

Engine failure in descent.
PIC: Comm, Part 91.
Acworth GA.
McDonnell Douglas 369E.
Prelim report (1 injured).

On 08-12-09, after receiving clearance to enter the RYY (Marietta–Cobb County, Atlanta GA) airspace, the pilot of an MD369E experienced a power failure after starting a descent near Acworth GA. The commercial pilot and passenger were returning from a power line aerial observation flight when the accident occurred. The helicopter was substantially damaged from impact forces with the ground. The pilot reported that, approximately 5–10 sec after he started his descent from 1400 ft, he heard a loud “bang and breaking noise.” The emergency continued when the engine-out caution lights and audio sounded. He made an autorotation to a field where the helicopter hit a run­off ditch. Maintenance inspections revealed damage to a turbine blade on the 3rd-stage turbine wheel and chip detectors covered with metal.

Turbulence event.
PIC: ATP, Part 121.
Fayetteville, NC.
Bombardier DHC8.
Prelim report (1 injured).

While in cruise flight at 14,000 ft on 08-05-09 near Fayetteville NC, a Bombardier DHC8 encountered severe turbulence while attemp­ting to avoid weather. The US Air­ways Express flight was enroute EWN (New Bern NC) when the flight attendant began beverage service. The crew noticed weather 10 miles in front of the aircraft and asked ATC for permission to climb to 17,000 ft. ATC stated that the altitude was not available so the captain told the flight attendant to secure the cart and be seated. During a turn to avoid weather the aircraft encountered turbulence. The flight attendant later reported that she was in the process of stowing the cart when the aircraft encountered the turbulence which lifted the cart and her off the floor. She reported hearing a crunch sound as the cart came down on her ankle. She then crawled to the intercom and reported to the captain that her ankle was broken. Several passengers assisted her in securing the cart and the flight attendant continued to make all required safety announcements. The crew declared an emergency and continued to the destination.