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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 146016
Last updated: 30 May 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B427 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 427
Registration: N427AL
C/n / msn: 56018
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Indiantown, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
Destination airport:Ocala, FL (OCF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot reported that, about 25 minutes into the flight, he maneuvered the helicopter to avoid large birds. The pilot felt something impact the upper right side of the helicopter near the main rotor mast area. The helicopter began shaking violently and became difficult to control. He immediately decided to abort the flight. During the landing attempt, helicopter control was lost; the helicopter entered a left spin, impacted the ground, and rolled over. The main and tail rotor systems and the fuselage sustained substantial damage. The immediate decision to abort the flight after impact with the birds most likely aided the pilot in executing an emergency landing.

Evidence of bird remains were present on components of the rotor head, two of the four pitch change rods, and the tail rotor. Both pitch change rods with bird remains were separated from one of their attach points. The bird remains were removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institute for identification. According to the report, male and female Black Vulture DNA was found on the pitch control rods, pitch control linkages, and the tail rotor.

Examination of the rotor head parts found two pitch change links failed in tensile overstress; one of these exhibited an inward bending that could have been caused by a bird strike. The damage to the other pitch change link was most likely caused by the dynamic rollover as the rotor blades impacted the ground or other helicopter components. The accident sequence most likely initiated when the birds struck the pitch change rods.
Probable Cause: The inflight collision with birds, resulting in damage to the rotor head assembly and a subsequent forced landing and rollover.



Revision history:

04-Jun-2012 11:23 gerard57 Added
04-Jun-2012 11:56 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type]
04-Jun-2012 14:18 RobertMB Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Source, Narrative]
22-Jun-2012 23:23 Geno Updated [Time, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage]
02-Dec-2012 14:01 TB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
02-Dec-2012 14:05 TB Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source]
31-Aug-2014 17:55 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:45 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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