|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : 5la2|
airport : ugeneis215
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 212|
flight time total : 12374
flight time type : 4480
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
During a 13 min flight between 2 oil platforms situated in the gulf of mexico, approximately 70 mi south of morgan city, la, a muffled sound and high frequency vibration of the directional pedals of the helicopter alerted the pilot of a possible flight control malfunction. An uneventful landing and shutdown was accomplished. Inspection of helicopter revealed the tail rotor was missing both tip blocks up to about 1 1/2' from rotor tips on both blades. The landing on the oil platform prior to the above mentioned leg/flight was normal with the possible exception of a slightly tail low attitude during last phase of landing. T/D was on the aft part of landing gear skids. (This is when the tail rotor apparently contacted the 8' guard RAIL surrounding the helipad.) this contact was not detected by this pilot by sound or any abnormal control feeling (feedback). Winds at the time were light and variable less than 5 KTS. Possible cause or contributing causes could be: 1) possible inattn during this phase of landing. I had 15 other takeoff and lndgs during the more than 5 hours of flying time that day. 2) distraction due to radio communication on the 2 radios aboard the helicopter (one each FM and VHF radio). 3) wearing of earplugs in addition to the headset to decrease noise level (outside noise from the turbine engine). This could have prevented this pilot from hearing the sound of the tail rotor contacting the fence.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: COMMUTER HELICOPTER TAIL ROTOR HIT GUARD RAIL LNDG ON OIL PLATFORM IN GULF OF MEXICO.
Narrative: DURING A 13 MIN FLT BTWN 2 OIL PLATFORMS SITUATED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO, APPROX 70 MI S OF MORGAN CITY, LA, A MUFFLED SOUND AND HIGH FREQ VIBRATION OF THE DIRECTIONAL PEDALS OF THE HELI ALERTED THE PLT OF A POSSIBLE FLT CTL MALFUNCTION. AN UNEVENTFUL LNDG AND SHUTDOWN WAS ACCOMPLISHED. INSPECTION OF HELI REVEALED THE TAIL ROTOR WAS MISSING BOTH TIP BLOCKS UP TO ABOUT 1 1/2' FROM ROTOR TIPS ON BOTH BLADES. THE LNDG ON THE OIL PLATFORM PRIOR TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED LEG/FLT WAS NORMAL WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF A SLIGHTLY TAIL LOW ATTITUDE DURING LAST PHASE OF LNDG. T/D WAS ON THE AFT PART OF LNDG GEAR SKIDS. (THIS IS WHEN THE TAIL ROTOR APPARENTLY CONTACTED THE 8' GUARD RAIL SURROUNDING THE HELIPAD.) THIS CONTACT WAS NOT DETECTED BY THIS PLT BY SOUND OR ANY ABNORMAL CTL FEELING (FEEDBACK). WINDS AT THE TIME WERE LIGHT AND VARIABLE LESS THAN 5 KTS. POSSIBLE CAUSE OR CONTRIBUTING CAUSES COULD BE: 1) POSSIBLE INATTN DURING THIS PHASE OF LNDG. I HAD 15 OTHER TKOF AND LNDGS DURING THE MORE THAN 5 HRS OF FLYING TIME THAT DAY. 2) DISTR DUE TO RADIO COM ON THE 2 RADIOS ABOARD THE HELI (ONE EACH FM AND VHF RADIO). 3) WEARING OF EARPLUGS IN ADDITION TO THE HEADSET TO DECREASE NOISE LEVEL (OUTSIDE NOISE FROM THE TURBINE ENG). THIS COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS PLT FROM HEARING THE SOUND OF THE TAIL ROTOR CONTACTING THE FENCE.
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.