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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188632
Last updated: 18 January 2022
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B429 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 429 GlobalRanger
Owner/operator:Delaware State Police (DSP)
Registration: N1SP
MSN: 57184
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Delaware Coastal Airport, Georgetown, DE -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Aerial patrol
Departure airport:Georgetown, DE (GED)
Destination airport:Georgetown, DE (GED)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The purpose of the flight was for an emergency response team to complete recurrent rescue hoist training from the helicopter. The three-person team included a rescue specialist, a system operator, and a safety officer. Each crewmember needed to complete 3 evolutions in each position to complete the recurrent training. During an evolution, the system operator would be positioned on the helicopter's skid while the rescue specialist would be lowered from, then picked up and brought back into, the helicopter as it hovered about 100 ft above ground level. After three evolutions, the pilot would land the helicopter; the crew would rotate positions and restart the process. According to a rescue checklist, the security of each member's safety harness was checked before each takeoff.

The accident flight was the seventh evolution of the day, and the first flight where the fatally-injured crewmember acted as the system operator. The safety officer and rescue specialist reported they checked and verified that the restraints were secure. The helicopter then lifted off the ground, moved to the practice area, and the system operator requested and was granted permission by the pilot to move to the helicopter skid. The system operator stepped onto the skid and fell from the helicopter. The pilot stated that throughout the accident sequence, the crew was not rushing while they completed the checklists.

Examination of the system operator's equipment did not reveal any failures or malfunctions that would explain the fall. Additionally, examination of the tether to the helicopter did not reveal any abnormalities. In the absence of any equipment failure, it is likely that the system operator was not fastened to the helicopter.

Probable Cause: The emergency response team's failure to ensure that the system operator was secured to the helicopter, which resulted in his fall during the recurrent rescue hoist training operation.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

12-Jul-2016 21:59 Geno Added
05-Aug-2016 10:49 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
16-Feb-2018 17:17 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
18-Feb-2018 16:45 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
19-Feb-2018 07:47 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Jul-2020 09:54 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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