Accident MD Helicopters MD 902 Explorer N902AM, Friday 11 January 2002
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Date:Friday 11 January 2002
Type:Silhouette image of generic EXPL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
MD Helicopters MD 902 Explorer
Owner/operator:MD Helicopters
Registration: N902AM
MSN: 900-00092
Year of manufacture:2001
Total airframe hrs:38 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PCE-BG0027
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Aurora, CO -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Englewood, CO (APA)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An instructor pilot was conducting transition training and was demonstrating emergency procedures on anti-torque malfunctions and loss of thrust/fixed pedal settings. After reaching a final approach position at approximately 100 feet agl, he began to demonstrate how to complete an approach with an "Anti-Torque Failure - Fixed Thruster Setting." He established the helicopter on a "shallow" approach angle with a deceleration attitude of approximately 15 to 20 degrees nose up and approximately 300 feet per minute rate of descent. The flight profile "appeared normal" until about 50 to 60 feet above ground level when the helicopter started to descend at a higher than desired rate for demonstration. The pilot applied collective lever control and a shudder was felt in the rotor system, followed by an increase in descent rate. Collective lever application could not arrest the descent. The helicopter struck the ground hard in a nose high attitude, ballooned into the air approximately 3 to 5 feet and slowly rotated approximately 360 degrees. The "thruster" was jammed in the neutral position, but he had no problem landing the helicopter from a hover with power. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the Notar Anti-Torque rotating thruster cone, the aft cross tube, and both landing gear skids.

Probable Cause: the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control due to inadvertent settling with power resulting in a hard landing. Contributing factors include the improperly planned approach, the high density altitude, and the encounter with vortex ring state.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DEN02LA019
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

07-Aug-2010 08:37 Alpine Flight Added
26-Feb-2013 08:59 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
27-Feb-2013 03:13 TB Updated [Operator]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
09-Dec-2017 15:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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