|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ito|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
msl bound lower : 2500
msl bound upper : 2500
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 232|
flight time total : 1251
flight time type : 473
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Helicopter departed hilo airport on a routine volcano tour. The WX at the airport was reporting VFR conditions with occasional rain showers. This condition is normal for this time of the year. The WX at the volcano was estimated at 200' ceiling and 1 mi visibility with fog and rain, wind out of the southeast at 10-15 KTS. The area to be viewed was a large lava pond 100 X 200'. Helicopter approached the pond from the north at an altitude of 100' AGL. At a distance of 25' from the rim and at an altitude of about 50' the helicopter entered a hover. RPM and engine power indicated normal. At about this time the fog started to get worse. Communications with another aircraft earlier indicated that the WX to the southeast of the lava pond was VFR. The helicopter landed on the rocky surface of the cooled hardened lava in an attempt to wait out the passing WX. 30 seconds after landing the aircraft lurched backward, causing the tail rotor to dip and make contact with the ground. The damage that the tail rotor received made further flight impossible. The pilot then radioed a nearby helicopter to assist. Radio contact was also made with hilo approach control. Within 10 mins the contacted helicopter arrived to assist in the evacuate/evacuation of the passenger. Another helicopter was dispatched from hilo to evacuate/evacuation the remaining passenger. 1 hour after the incident the WX cleared to conditions above VFR. No injuries were reported. Upon investigation by the recovery team, it appears that the backward movement was caused by the collapse of rock at the heel section of the skid. While shooting the ILS to runway 27 iah we lost visual contact with the runway due to a rain shower on short final. Flight elected to go miss and advised the tower, iah local controller instructed flight to make a hard left turn to 170 degree and climb to 2000'. ATC instruction were block by other transmission on tower frequency. Due to the 150000 pound landing weight of the large transport maximum performance was less than expected by ATC. At the time of ATC instructions the aircraft was confign gear up flaps 25 accelerating to flap 15 degree mix speed the turn and climb was at maximum performance. The entire miss was in IMC. The hard left turn was for traffic departing runway 14L, later we learned that the other aircraft was an small transport. The whole situation was due to visibility dropping after ATC cleared the small transport for takeoff and clearing us for the approach.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF HELICOPTER HOVERING AT 50' ENCOUNTERED WORSENING WX AND LANDED ON RIM OF VOLCANO--UNEVEN GND. GND AT HEEL OF SKID COLLAPSED, ALLOWING TAIL ROTOR TO CONTACT GND WITH RESULTING DAMAGE. PASSENGERS EVACUATED BY ASSISTING HELICOPTERS.
Narrative: HELI DEPARTED HILO ARPT ON A ROUTINE VOLCANO TOUR. THE WX AT THE ARPT WAS RPTING VFR CONDITIONS WITH OCCASIONAL RAIN SHOWERS. THIS CONDITION IS NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. THE WX AT THE VOLCANO WAS ESTIMATED AT 200' CEILING AND 1 MI VISIBILITY WITH FOG AND RAIN, WIND OUT OF THE SE AT 10-15 KTS. THE AREA TO BE VIEWED WAS A LARGE LAVA POND 100 X 200'. HELI APCHED THE POND FROM THE N AT AN ALT OF 100' AGL. AT A DISTANCE OF 25' FROM THE RIM AND AT AN ALT OF ABOUT 50' THE HELI ENTERED A HOVER. RPM AND ENG PWR INDICATED NORMAL. AT ABOUT THIS TIME THE FOG STARTED TO GET WORSE. COMS WITH ANOTHER ACFT EARLIER INDICATED THAT THE WX TO THE SE OF THE LAVA POND WAS VFR. THE HELI LANDED ON THE ROCKY SURFACE OF THE COOLED HARDENED LAVA IN AN ATTEMPT TO WAIT OUT THE PASSING WX. 30 SECS AFTER LNDG THE ACFT LURCHED BACKWARD, CAUSING THE TAIL ROTOR TO DIP AND MAKE CONTACT WITH THE GND. THE DAMAGE THAT THE TAIL ROTOR RECEIVED MADE FURTHER FLT IMPOSSIBLE. THE PLT THEN RADIOED A NEARBY HELI TO ASSIST. RADIO CONTACT WAS ALSO MADE WITH HILO APCH CTL. WITHIN 10 MINS THE CONTACTED HELI ARRIVED TO ASSIST IN THE EVAC OF THE PAX. ANOTHER HELI WAS DISPATCHED FROM HILO TO EVAC THE REMAINING PAX. 1 HR AFTER THE INCIDENT THE WX CLRED TO CONDITIONS ABOVE VFR. NO INJURIES WERE RPTED. UPON INVESTIGATION BY THE RECOVERY TEAM, IT APPEARS THAT THE BACKWARD MOVEMENT WAS CAUSED BY THE COLLAPSE OF ROCK AT THE HEEL SECTION OF THE SKID. WHILE SHOOTING THE ILS TO RWY 27 IAH WE LOST VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE RWY DUE TO A RAIN SHOWER ON SHORT FINAL. FLT ELECTED TO GO MISS AND ADVISED THE TWR, IAH LOCAL CTLR INSTRUCTED FLT TO MAKE A HARD L TURN TO 170 DEG AND CLB TO 2000'. ATC INSTRUCTION WERE BLOCK BY OTHER XMISSION ON TWR FREQ. DUE TO THE 150000 LB LNDG WT OF THE LGT MAX PERFORMANCE WAS LESS THAN EXPECTED BY ATC. AT THE TIME OF ATC INSTRUCTIONS THE ACFT WAS CONFIGN GEAR UP FLAPS 25 ACCELERATING TO FLAP 15 DEG MIX SPD THE TURN AND CLB WAS AT MAX PERFORMANCE. THE ENTIRE MISS WAS IN IMC. THE HARD L TURN WAS FOR TFC DEPARTING RWY 14L, LATER WE LEARNED THAT THE OTHER ACFT WAS AN SMT. THE WHOLE SITUATION WAS DUE TO VISIBILITY DROPPING AFTER ATC CLRED THE SMT FOR TKOF AND CLRING US FOR THE APCH.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.