|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : msp|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 20
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||climbout : initial|
climbout : takeoff
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 30|
flight time total : 1543
flight time type : 540
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
The passenger were belted into the helicopter which was parked on the upper parking lot that had been cleared for the air rides. The helicopter was started, engine temperatures were near normal because of the previous ride, rotor system was engaged, I performed a magneto check, a free-wheeling clutch check and checked control and blade movement. I had elected to make this takeoff downwind because the terrain and clearance from cars and property was best in that direction (nnw). As the wind was starting to increase, I had told my crew prior to departure that this was the last takeoff that would be made in that direction and I would be switching to a southeast departure path. They were to repos our truck. Since the load was fairly light, I saw no problem with this particular departure as I had made one earlier under similar conditions. This nnw departure required slightly more power, but was well within limits considering the load. I brought the helicopter to a hover, made a left turn to the direction of departure, checked the road/driveway to seminary housing units which has very little traffic, noticed several cars parked along the shoulder of the road below the elevated parking lot we were using. I glanced at all my gauges--all were normal, manifold pressure at 22', RPM in center of green, and started my takeoff run. At this point we had cleared the elevated parking area, were out of ground effect and we had a slight drop in RPM. I added a slight bit of throttle and a slight downward pressure on the collective and let the helicopter descend slightly to build RPM and airspeed as there was room below us. At this point the engine lost power and I believe there was a slight yaw to the right. I corrected for the yaw, realized what had happened, glanced at the manifold pressure gauge, saw it was at or above 25' manifold pressure (I believe that this engine will not hold 25' manifold pressure when running, even at full throttle) backed off of the throttle slightly to see if the engine would regain part of its power, lowered the collective, pitched the nose up to slow forward speed, aimed for a landing spot on the edge of the road ahead of me. At this point I saw a car start to pass under me. This veh had departed from the roadside along side the helipad after I started my takeoff run. I immediately altered direction slightly to the right into a grassy area along side the road to avoid the car. We touched down in the grass in a nose up attitude. This was done intentionally as the grass sloped downhill and I did not want to tip over forward. At some point either the tail rotor or a main rotor blade struck the very right rear portion of the car causing minor damage to the car. After T/D I felt the back portion of the helicopter settle. I believe a shock strut and crossbeam had broken. The helicopter rotated around once rather gently considering, and came to rest on its right side, the engine was not running at that point. I shut off the master switch, alternator switch and fuel shutoff and helped the passenger exit the helicopter. They both stated that they were unhurt. In talking with me after the incident by phone, the county sheriff's department stated that a witness to the incident said that he had watched the helicopter depart, lost view of it, but distinctly heard the engine sound cease and could still hear the sound of the rotor blades. This individual filled out a witness report, which I have not read. In summary, I feel the cause of this incident was engine failure which I believe was caused by a fuel servo malfunction which did not exhibit itself in prior flight and only occurred at a full throttle setting. I feel that wind was not the cause of this incident but had it been from another direction a more successful autorotative landing could have been achieved. In the helicopter ride business, most sites of operation are not ideal. I personally survey every site prior to committing to giving rides at the locations and have turned down many events where a safe operation cannot be conducted. This area was, in my opinion, safe to operate from--as borne out by the previous yr's rides with no problems. Callback conversation with rptrrevealed the following: fuel system was removed from aircraft and sent to service center for checking. It was found fuel servo of but new type of mfg xyz 2-PIECE fuel injector had been installed in engine. This new injector has an insert that had not been pressed in the insert during manufacture or overhaul. Center was surprised engine would run at all west/O the inserts. Finally got admission of other incidents of this type where engine quit. Reporter believes the FAA is sending out a maintenance alert on the problem, but not certain. FAA originally trying to blame downwind takeoff for problem, but thinks they are now accepting engine problem.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE FAILURE ON TKOF RESULTED IN OFF ARPT EMERGENCY LNDG AND ACFT DAMAGE.
Narrative: THE PAX WERE BELTED INTO THE HELI WHICH WAS PARKED ON THE UPPER PARKING LOT THAT HAD BEEN CLRED FOR THE AIR RIDES. THE HELI WAS STARTED, ENG TEMPS WERE NEAR NORMAL BECAUSE OF THE PREVIOUS RIDE, ROTOR SYS WAS ENGAGED, I PERFORMED A MAGNETO CHK, A FREE-WHEELING CLUTCH CHK AND CHKED CONTROL AND BLADE MOVEMENT. I HAD ELECTED TO MAKE THIS TKOF DOWNWIND BECAUSE THE TERRAIN AND CLRNC FROM CARS AND PROPERTY WAS BEST IN THAT DIRECTION (NNW). AS THE WIND WAS STARTING TO INCREASE, I HAD TOLD MY CREW PRIOR TO DEP THAT THIS WAS THE LAST TKOF THAT WOULD BE MADE IN THAT DIRECTION AND I WOULD BE SWITCHING TO A SE DEP PATH. THEY WERE TO REPOS OUR TRUCK. SINCE THE LOAD WAS FAIRLY LIGHT, I SAW NO PROB WITH THIS PARTICULAR DEP AS I HAD MADE ONE EARLIER UNDER SIMILAR CONDITIONS. THIS NNW DEP REQUIRED SLIGHTLY MORE PWR, BUT WAS WELL WITHIN LIMITS CONSIDERING THE LOAD. I BROUGHT THE HELI TO A HOVER, MADE A LEFT TURN TO THE DIRECTION OF DEP, CHKED THE ROAD/DRIVEWAY TO SEMINARY HOUSING UNITS WHICH HAS VERY LITTLE TFC, NOTICED SEVERAL CARS PARKED ALONG THE SHOULDER OF THE ROAD BELOW THE ELEVATED PARKING LOT WE WERE USING. I GLANCED AT ALL MY GAUGES--ALL WERE NORMAL, MANIFOLD PRESSURE AT 22', RPM IN CENTER OF GREEN, AND STARTED MY TKOF RUN. AT THIS POINT WE HAD CLRED THE ELEVATED PARKING AREA, WERE OUT OF GND EFFECT AND WE HAD A SLIGHT DROP IN RPM. I ADDED A SLIGHT BIT OF THROTTLE AND A SLIGHT DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON THE COLLECTIVE AND LET THE HELI DSND SLIGHTLY TO BUILD RPM AND AIRSPD AS THERE WAS ROOM BELOW US. AT THIS POINT THE ENG LOST PWR AND I BELIEVE THERE WAS A SLIGHT YAW TO THE RIGHT. I CORRECTED FOR THE YAW, REALIZED WHAT HAD HAPPENED, GLANCED AT THE MANIFOLD PRESSURE GAUGE, SAW IT WAS AT OR ABOVE 25' MANIFOLD PRESSURE (I BELIEVE THAT THIS ENG WILL NOT HOLD 25' MANIFOLD PRESSURE WHEN RUNNING, EVEN AT FULL THROTTLE) BACKED OFF OF THE THROTTLE SLIGHTLY TO SEE IF THE ENG WOULD REGAIN PART OF ITS PWR, LOWERED THE COLLECTIVE, PITCHED THE NOSE UP TO SLOW FORWARD SPD, AIMED FOR A LNDG SPOT ON THE EDGE OF THE ROAD AHEAD OF ME. AT THIS POINT I SAW A CAR START TO PASS UNDER ME. THIS VEH HAD DEPARTED FROM THE ROADSIDE ALONG SIDE THE HELIPAD AFTER I STARTED MY TKOF RUN. I IMMEDIATELY ALTERED DIRECTION SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT INTO A GRASSY AREA ALONG SIDE THE ROAD TO AVOID THE CAR. WE TOUCHED DOWN IN THE GRASS IN A NOSE UP ATTITUDE. THIS WAS DONE INTENTIONALLY AS THE GRASS SLOPED DOWNHILL AND I DID NOT WANT TO TIP OVER FORWARD. AT SOME POINT EITHER THE TAIL ROTOR OR A MAIN ROTOR BLADE STRUCK THE VERY RIGHT REAR PORTION OF THE CAR CAUSING MINOR DAMAGE TO THE CAR. AFTER T/D I FELT THE BACK PORTION OF THE HELI SETTLE. I BELIEVE A SHOCK STRUT AND CROSSBEAM HAD BROKEN. THE HELI ROTATED AROUND ONCE RATHER GENTLY CONSIDERING, AND CAME TO REST ON ITS RIGHT SIDE, THE ENG WAS NOT RUNNING AT THAT POINT. I SHUT OFF THE MASTER SWITCH, ALTERNATOR SWITCH AND FUEL SHUTOFF AND HELPED THE PAX EXIT THE HELI. THEY BOTH STATED THAT THEY WERE UNHURT. IN TALKING WITH ME AFTER THE INCIDENT BY PHONE, THE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT STATED THAT A WITNESS TO THE INCIDENT SAID THAT HE HAD WATCHED THE HELI DEPART, LOST VIEW OF IT, BUT DISTINCTLY HEARD THE ENG SOUND CEASE AND COULD STILL HEAR THE SOUND OF THE ROTOR BLADES. THIS INDIVIDUAL FILLED OUT A WITNESS RPT, WHICH I HAVE NOT READ. IN SUMMARY, I FEEL THE CAUSE OF THIS INCIDENT WAS ENG FAILURE WHICH I BELIEVE WAS CAUSED BY A FUEL SERVO MALFUNCTION WHICH DID NOT EXHIBIT ITSELF IN PRIOR FLT AND ONLY OCCURRED AT A FULL THROTTLE SETTING. I FEEL THAT WIND WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF THIS INCIDENT BUT HAD IT BEEN FROM ANOTHER DIRECTION A MORE SUCCESSFUL AUTOROTATIVE LNDG COULD HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED. IN THE HELI RIDE BUSINESS, MOST SITES OF OPERATION ARE NOT IDEAL. I PERSONALLY SURVEY EVERY SITE PRIOR TO COMMITTING TO GIVING RIDES AT THE LOCATIONS AND HAVE TURNED DOWN MANY EVENTS WHERE A SAFE OPERATION CANNOT BE CONDUCTED. THIS AREA WAS, IN MY OPINION, SAFE TO OPERATE FROM--AS BORNE OUT BY THE PREVIOUS YR'S RIDES WITH NO PROBS. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTRREVEALED THE FOLLOWING: FUEL SYS WAS REMOVED FROM ACFT AND SENT TO SVC CENTER FOR CHKING. IT WAS FOUND FUEL SERVO OF BUT NEW TYPE OF MFG XYZ 2-PIECE FUEL INJECTOR HAD BEEN INSTALLED IN ENG. THIS NEW INJECTOR HAS AN INSERT THAT HAD NOT BEEN PRESSED IN THE INSERT DURING MANUFACTURE OR OVERHAUL. CENTER WAS SURPRISED ENG WOULD RUN AT ALL W/O THE INSERTS. FINALLY GOT ADMISSION OF OTHER INCIDENTS OF THIS TYPE WHERE ENG QUIT. RPTR BELIEVES THE FAA IS SENDING OUT A MAINT ALERT ON THE PROB, BUT NOT CERTAIN. FAA ORIGINALLY TRYING TO BLAME DOWNWIND TKOF FOR PROB, BUT THINKS THEY ARE NOW ACCEPTING ENG PROB.
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.