NTSB Identification: DEN05FA103
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, June 30, 2005 in Mancos, CO
Aircraft: Agusta A119, registration: N403CF
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
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.
On July 1, 2005, at 1357 mountain daylight time, an Agusta A119 helicopter, N403CF, operated by Tri-State Care Flight, LLC, Bullhead, Arizona, as "Care Flight 4" and piloted by a commercial pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while approaching to land at a remote landing zone (LZ) approximately 8 miles northeast of Mancos, Colorado. The pilot, nurse, and paramedic were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company VFR flight plan had been filed and activated for the local medical flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 135. The flight originated at Durango, Colorado, at 1242.
Preliminary information indicates the helicopter had been dispatched to search for (and eventually located) a 14-year-old drowning victim in the Animas River near Farmington, New Mexico. The helicopter was returning to Durango when it was diverted to the Red Arrow Mines area near Mancos to medivac an injured logger. According to a volunteer fireman, the pilot made a low pass to assess the LZ, and then circled around to make his landing approach. The fireman advised the pilot that the winds were calm and he acknowledged. The fireman said the helicopter, which was above tree level, "dropped straight down." He did not see the impact and reported no unusual engine sounds.
The on-scene examination disclosed a ground scar, aligned on an easterly heading, containing slash marks and a separated left skid. The helicopter was at the end and next to the ground scar, and was aligned on a northerly heading. All four rotor blades were still attached to the hub. There were no contact marks on the hydraulic actuators. The swash and pitch link rods were all intact and attached. The tail boom was severed just aft of the engine and was to the right of the helicopter. The tail rotor separated at the gearbox. _________________ Serving the Civil Helo Industry - www.heliopsmag.com
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