Factual Report: Engine quits on EMS helo

 - January 2, 2008, 8:52 AM

Bell 407, Kalispell, Mont., Nov. 2, 2006–The Bell 407 lost power soon after departing from the Kalispell Regional Medical Center on an EMS flight at night in VMC. The commercial pilot and two medical crewmembers were not injured but the helicopter’s tailboom was substantially damaged during the forced landing.

The pilot said his passenger told him the engine chip light came on about one minute after takeoff, and he turned around to head “for the hospital because it was the closest available pad and it was illuminated.” The pilot said the engine started making “weird growling noises” and began to “surge” as he turned a quarter-mile final for the helipad.
A loud “bang” from the rear of the helicopter followed. The pilot lowered the collective and entered an autorotation.