Final Report: EMS flight fatal for patient

 - December 11, 2006, 8:47 AM

Bell 206-L1 LongRanger, Gentry, Ark., Feb. 21, 2005–The NTSB attributed the EMS accident to the pilot’s improper decision to maneuver in an environment conducive to a loss of tail-rotor effectiveness and his failure to properly execute an autorotation. The prevailing crosswind was a contributing factor.

The Air Evac Lifeteam EMS flight landed on a lawn to pick up an accident victim. After loading the patient, the pilot took off and, with the engine torque near 100 percent, maneuvered the helicopter to the right. He stopped within 20 to 25 feet of the house to avoid the 60-foot-high powerlines to the house. When the helicopter was slightly below the lines, it made an uninitiated turn to the right, while the pilot applied full left anti-torque pedal. Despite his efforts, he was unable to increase airspeed and the helicopter went into a descending spin to the right. Autorotation slowed the spinning, but despite the pilot’s placing the collective to full up, there was not enough main rotor rpm to arrest the descent and the LongRanger landed hard. The helicopter was substantially damaged, the three crewmembers were seriously injured and the patient was killed.