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 November 20, 2005, about 2048 eastern standard time, an Aerospatiale AS350B helicopter (AS 350B), registered to and operated as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight by Biscayne Helicopters, Inc., and a Eurocopter EC 130 B4 helicopter (EC 130 B4), N130HS, registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, and operated as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight by HeliFlight, Inc., dba HelicopterShuttle.com, collided in flight while both helicopters were inbound to land at Motorsports Complex VIP Heliport (Speedway Heliport), Homestead, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for either flight. Both helicopters were substantially damaged, and the commercial-rated pilot of the AS 350B helicopter was not injured. The commercial-rated pilot of the EC 130 B4 helicopter was fatally injured. The AS 350B flight originated about 5 minutes earlier from Ocean Reef Club Airport, Key Largo, Florida. The EC 130 B4 flight originated at 2030 hrs, from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, Miami, Florida.
The pilot of the AS 350B helicopter stated that after departure he contacted Homestead Air Reserve Base (KHST) Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), and advised the controller that he was inbound to the Speedway Heliport. The controller acknowledged his transmission and advised him to proceed direct to the Speedway Heliport. The controller also advised him they had no traffic advisory for him and frequency change to the "race control frequency" was approved. He contacted "race control" on frequency 134.3 mHz, and advised that he was 2 nautical miles southeast of the Speedway Heliport, inbound. He was advised to report when his flight was 1 mile south of the Speedway Heliport, to which he complied. He was advised to follow an Agusta 109 helicopter "...to the pad." The Agusta 109 helicopter at the time of his radio call was located just north of the westernmost pad at the Speedway Heliport, and was in a 5-foot hover. He was on a modified right base for landing to the east at the Speedway Heliport, and turned on to final where, "... shortly after that (I am not sure exactly how long) I felt a shudder and then the aircraft started to vibrate significantly (I do not remember my altitude or airspeed at that time)." He reported hearing the president of Biscayne Helicopters, Inc., advise over the frequency that there had been a midair collision. He performed a run-on landing on grass west of the helipads, and while the helicopter started to slow, it began turning and listing to the left. He began securing the helicopter when the main rotor blades began to slow, and exited the helicopter.
Numerous witnesses reported seeing the AS 350B helicopter flying southwest of the Speedway Heliport, and then turn to the east. Simultaneously, the EC 130 B4 helicopter was flying in an easterly direction, and was located west of the Speedway Heliport. The witnesses reported that the AS 350B was slightly higher and to the right of the EC 130 B4 helicopter when the collision occurred. The witnesses reported that the EC 130 B4 helicopter descended almost immediately, while the AS 350B helicopter continued flying in an easterly direction and landed at the Speedway Heliport.
According to the individual who was located at the Speedway Heliport and was providing "VFR advisory service" to inbound helicopters, the pilots of both helicopters announced they were inbound to the Speedway Heliport. He further stated that he had visual contact with the AS 350B helicopter, but he never had visual contact by landing or strobe light with the EC 130 B4 helicopter, which was on a straight-in approach landing to the east. The AS 350B helicopter was assigned to the west edge of the grass, and the EC 130 B4 helicopter was assigned to the West pad, which was confirmed by the pilot. He noticed the AS 350B helicopter was in a right turn at the time of the collision, and did not see the EC 130 B4 helicopter until the time of the collision. At the time of the collision, a helicopter was located on the east and center pads at the Speedway Heliport, and both were preparing to depart. He did not recall hearing the pilot of the EC 130 B4 helicopter provide a position report on his initial contact, and his impression was that the EC 130 B4 helicopter was "farther away."
Preliminary examine of both helicopters revealed all three main rotor blades of the EC 130 B4 helicopter were damaged; one of blades was missing approximately 11 inches and exhibited burgundy colored paint transfer on the leading edge of the blade at the fracture surface location. The left forward crosstube of the AS 350B helicopter had burgundy colored paint beneath the outer paint layer. Impact damage was noted to the left forward and left aft skid crosstubes of the AS 350B helicopter just above each "ankle."
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