Aircraft Incident/Accident Report

West Melbourne, Florida 32951
Thursday, July 15, 2010 16:00 EDT

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
During takeoff, while the helicopter was about 80 to 100 feet above the ground, the clutch caution light illuminated. The light stayed lit only long enough for the pilot to notice it, and then it turned off. The clutch light illuminated once again, and the pilot felt the helicopter vibrate. The pilot initiated a descent and heard a loud “pop and grinding noise” from the rear of the helicopter as he lowered the collective. The pilot autorotated and impacted the ground in a nose-low attitude. A postaccident examination of the drive system found that the grooves in the upper sheave were worn beyond serviceable limits. The helicopter’s maintenance manual requires inspection of the sheaves prior to installation of the drive belts. An entry in the logbook states that the drive belts were removed and replaced 22.9 hours prior to the accident. Given the level of wear in the upper sheave grooves, it is unlikely that maintenance personnel inspected the sheave prior to drive belt installation.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
Separation of the main rotor drive belts due to maintenance personnel’s failure to adequately inspect the upper drive sheave prior to installing the belts.
Event Information
Type of EventAccident 
Event Date7/15/2010 
Event Day of the WeekThursday 
Time of Event1600 
Event Time ZoneEastern Daylight Time 
Event CityWest Melbourne 
Event StateFLORIDA 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site32951 
Event Date Year2010 
Event Date Month
MidAir Collision IndicatorNo 
On Ground Collision occurred ?No 
Event Location Latitude280532N 
Event Location Longitude0804652W 
Event Location Airport-- 
Event Location Nearest Airport ID-- 
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOff Airport/Airstrip 
Distance from airport in statute miles-- 
Degrees magnetic from airport-- 
Airport Elevation-- 
Weather Briefing Completeness-- 
Investigator's weather sourceWeather Observation Facility 
Time of the weather observation1553 Eastern Daylight Time 
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)-- 
Weather Observation Facility IDMLB 
Elevation of weather observation facility
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)15 
Time Zone of the weather observationEDT 
Lighting ConditionsDay 
Lowest Ceiling Height-- 
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height-- 
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsClear 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingNone 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)-- 
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)-- 
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10 
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)32 
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)23 
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)130 
Variable Wind IndicatorWind direction could be determined 
Wind Speed (knots)15 
Wind Velocity Indicator -- 
Wind Gust IndicatorGusting 
Wind Gust (knots) 21 
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30.04 
Density Altitude (feet)-- 
Intensity of Precipitation-- 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjuryNone 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries-- 
On Ground, Minor Injuries-- 
On Ground, Serious Injuries-- 
Injury Total Fatal-- 
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None
Injury Total Serious-- 
Injury Total All-- 
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)29223 
NTSB Notification SourceFAA Southern C-ROC  
NTSB Notification Date-- 
NTSB Notification Time-- 
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information-- 
Date of most recent change to recordNov 8 2011 3:54PM 
User who most recently changed recordkenj 
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District Office-- 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN74603 
NTSB NumberERA10LA361 
Missing Aircraft Indicator-- 
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 91: General Aviation 
Type of Flight Plan filedNone 
Flight plan Was Activated?No 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NameROBINSON HELICOPTER 
Aircraft ModelR22 BETA 
Aircraft Series Identifier-- 
Aircraft Serial Number3934 
Certified Max Gross Weight1370 
Aircraft CategoryHelicopter 
Aircraft Registration Class-- 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearFixed 
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection100 Hour 
Date of Last InspectionOct 28 2009 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection59 
Airframe Hours1663 
ELT InstalledNo 
ELT ActivatedUnknown 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteUnknown 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner NameERIC A SPITZER LLC 
Aircraft Owner Street Address5958 ROD AVE 
Aircraft Owner CityWOODLAND HILLS 
Aircraft Owner StateCA 
Aircraft Owner CountryUSA  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode91367-1003 
Operator is an individual?Yes 
Operator NameBrian Parker 
Operator Same as Owner?No 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?No 
Operator Street Address-- 
Operator CityPahokee 
Operator StateFL 
Operator CountryUSA  
Operator Zip code33492 
Operator Code-- 
Owner has at least one certificateNone 
Other Operator of large aircraft?No 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation-- 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not-- 
Indicates Domestic or International Flight-- 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail-- 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Other Work Use 
Second Pilot on BoardNo 
Departure Point Same as EventYes 
Departure Airport Code-- 
Departure CityWest Melbourne 
Departure StateFL 
Departure CountryUSA 
Departure Time1600 
Departure Time ZoneEDT 
Destination Same as Local Fltdest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere 
Destination Airport CodePVT  
Destination CityWest Melbourne 
Destination StateFL 
Destination CountryUSA 
Specific Phase of Flight-- 
Report sent to ICAO?-- 
Evacuation occurred-- 
Date of most recent change to recordNov 8 2011 3:54PM 
User who most recently changed recordkenj 
Since inspection or accidentTime of Accident 
Event Location Runway Number and LocationN/A 
Runway Length-- 
Runway Width-- 
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--