Pilot, Ground Crewman Blamed For Tulsa Helicopter Mishap - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

Pilot, Ground Crewman Blamed For Tulsa Helicopter Mishap

Posted: Updated:
Image from Osage SkyNews6 on February 6, 2013. Scrapes On the pavement show how the helicopter spun. Image from Osage SkyNews6 on February 6, 2013. Scrapes On the pavement show how the helicopter spun.
Close-up image showing the tail rotor missing from the boom. Close-up image showing the tail rotor missing from the boom.
Photo of the fuel mat and the damaged tail rotor blades. [NTSB] Photo of the fuel mat and the damaged tail rotor blades. [NTSB]
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The National Transportation Safety Board blames the pilot and a ground crewman for the crash landing of a small helicopter at Tulsa International Airport in February.

Osage SkyNews 6 pilot Will Kavanagh spotted the damaged Robinson R-44 helicopter from the air on February 6, 2013.

He could tell the chopper was missing its tail rotor and could see that the aircraft had spun around several times on the ground.

2/6/2013: Related Story: Helicopter Makes Hard Landing At Tulsa International After Losing Tail Rotor

In the NTSB's Probable Cause Report on the incident, it blames the accident on the "line technician's failure to remove the refueling mat from the helicopter fuselage following service, which resulted in the mat striking the tail rotor, and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection."

Read the NTSB's Probable Cause Report.

The refueling mat is a roughly two-foot by one-foot rubber mat which is placed around the fuel filler tube to prevent damage to the helicopter's paint by the fuel nozzle. 

In his Factual Report released in September, NTSB investigator Michael Folkerts wrote that the pilot was leaving TIA at about 5 p.m. to fly down to Jones Riverside. When the helicopter reached about 150 feet in altitude, the mat struck the tail rotor and knocked it off.

The pilot told the NTSB he felt the helicopter buck and start to turn to the right, so he immediately cut fuel to the engine and began an autorotation, a maneuver helicopter pilots use to land if they lose engine power or the tail rotor.

The pilot, who is rated as a commercial helicopter and instructor pilot with 1,255 hours of total flight time, landed safely and no one was hurt.

Witnesses found the mat and the tail rotor blades nearby. 

Photos provided by the NTSB show the mat was almost ripped into two pieces.

The helicopter, which is owned by Crumpton Aviation, sustained some damage in the landing.

Special Features

Community Calendar

Find out what's going on around town and submit events!

Share

See it! Shoot it! Send it! Share your weather pics and videos with NewsOn6.com!

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Cold Case

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Crime Tracker

    Find out what crimes are committed in your area with Crime Tracker.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.