NTSB Identification: WPR16LA057
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 24, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: ENSTROM 280, registration: N133AB
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 24, 2016, about 1812 mountain standard time, an Enstrom 280 helicopter, N133AB, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was destined for La Cholla Airpark (57AZ), Tucson, Arizona. The helicopter was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The pilot stated that he was climbing the helicopter to an altitude of 2,000 feet after takeoff from PHX. As the helicopter climbed through 1,500 feet, he felt an "abrupt" left yaw and observed the engine rpm indication drop to zero. The rotor rpm began to decay, and the pilot conducted an autorotation to a dry riverbed, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor blades.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Fire Department said a helicopter made a hard landing in a dry riverbed near 28th and Elwood streets on Sunday evening.
Phoenix fire said there are no injuries from the incident after the private chopper made the hard landing shortly after 6 p.m.
Officials said the helicopter, an Enstrom 280, had just left Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The pilot had just dropped off his co-pilot after flying in from Oregon and making a stop in Las Vegas.
The pilot was on his way to Tucson when the engine was lost and the chopper went down.
Only the pilot was aboard the aircraft, but he was able to escape without any injuries.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter, with the tail number N133AB, had gone down under "unknown circumstances. The FAA is investigating the incident.
The Phoenix Fire Department said the wreckage looks like scrap metal. The chopper is mangled, but there were no fuel leaks or fires.
Originally, officials said there were reports from the National Guard of a helicopter down in the water.
The crash is being investigated.
Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.abc15.com
Photo from Phoenix Fire of the wreckage from chopper down in dry riverbed. Hard to see because it's so dark.
Fire captain tells us wreckage looks like scrap metal, but no fire. Pilot is fortunate to only have a few scratches.
No injuries, but there is a helicopter down in river bottom near 28th/Elwood streets
Pilot had just dropped off passenger at airport. Pilot was able to escape uninjured after hard landing.
Fire captain says private helicopter had just left Sky Harbor. Lost engine, made hard landing in river bottom.
A helicopter crashed into the Salt River bed on Sunday evening in Phoenix.
The white, private aircraft's engine failed shortly after taking off from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, then went down in the dry river bed near 24th Street, said Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Reda Riddle-Bigler.
The pilot escaped with only a few scratches on his arm, she added.
"It looks like scrap metal,'' Riddle-Bigler said, describing the scene, which was not accessible to a Republic reporter who was briefed nearby.
The pilot had just dropped off his co-pilot and was headed to Tucson when he noticed the single-engine helicopter was having problems, she said. The pilot told fire officials had never had an accident before.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating, Riddle-Bigler said.