Saturday, March 26, 2016

McDonnell Douglas (MDHI) 600N, N745BW: Accident occurred February 05, 2016 in Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon

Brim Equipment Leasing Inc:

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA081
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 05, 2016 in Ashland, OR
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELICOPTER 600N, registration: N745BW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 February 5, 2016, about 1430 Pacific standard time, a McDonnell Douglas Helicopter (MDHI) 600N, N745BW, experienced a cracked main rotor blade at Ashland, Oregon. Brim Aviation was operating the helicopter under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial rated pilot was not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to a main rotor blade. The cross-country positioning flight departed Alturas, California, about 1340, with a planned destination of Ashland. Visual instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that two helicopters departed Ogden, Utah, about 0830 with three intermediate stops including Alturas, which was the last one. All flight operations and characteristics had been normal, but he noted that the blades seemed minimally out of track. Upon departure from Alturas, he noticed a slight hop as he made an ascending right 180-degree turn out, but stated that he had experienced worse with gusting winds and door off operations. In straight and level flight, blade track appeared to be no different than on the previous legs. During descent into Ashland, he noticed that the hop had become more apparent when the blades were unloaded. He asked the trailing pilot to look at the rotor system for any abnormalities in flight, and the trail pilot indicted that they looked out of track. After landing, the pilot informed maintenance that the Track and Balance of both helicopters needed to be checked prior to the next operation. Maintenance personnel reported that there was a crack in one main rotor blade from the trailing edge forward to the spar at a point midspan near the beginning of the trim tab. The blade had a total time of 1,942 hours.

The damage was reported to the National Transportation Safety Board on March 9, 2016.

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