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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 213577
Last updated: 14 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic MD60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas Helicopter MD600N
Registration: N745BW
MSN: RN045
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Ashland, OR -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Alturas, CA (KAAT)
Destination airport:Ashland, OR (S03)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial pilot reported that, during a cross-country helicopter flight, the main rotor blades seemed minimally out of track. After departing on the last leg of the flight, he noticed a slight "hop" as he made an ascending 180 right turn, but later stated that he had experienced worse with gusting winds and door-off operations. In straight and level flight, the blade track appeared to be no different than on the previous legs. During the descent toward the destination, he noticed that the hop became more apparent when the blades were unloaded. Maintenance personnel subsequently found a crack in one main rotor blade from the trailing edge forward to the spar at a point midspan near the beginning of the trim tab.

Examination revealed a visible crack on the top skin, with an opposing crack on the bottom skin. The crack surfaces were flat and light grey with features indicative of fatigue cracking from the trailing edges of the upper and lower skins forward to an internal "C" channel. No gross mechanical damage was visible, and abrasions visible after stripping paint from the blade appeared to be too small to initiate the fatigue crack. The blade had been in service for about 2/3 of its service hour life and more than half of its cycle life at the time of discovery. The reason for crack initiation could not be determined.

Probable Cause: Fatigue cracking of a main rotor blade for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

12 Oct 2009 N613BP Department of Homeland Security 0 Gillespie Field (SEE), San Diego, CA sub
20 Jul 2020 N745BW Cobra Aviation Services LLC 0 near San Andreas, Calaveras County, CA w/o


Revision history:

22-Jul-2018 18:49 ASN Update Bot Added

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