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Ship down in Los Angeles


Goldy
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Helicopter went down in LA about an hour ago. Rumor in the pilot world is it was a KMAX doing some powerline work near Santa Clarita, ship went down, pilot survived and one on board was killed.

 

Sorry to hear...also reported it may have been wind related. Nasty storm with some huge winds and downdrafts today in the area. Weather reporters are even forecasting water spouts with possiblities of weak tornado type activity and snow at the 2000 foot level.

 

Goldy

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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A person was killed Wednesday when a helicopter being used for a power line project spiraled out of control in high winds and crashed in the Santa Clarita area, authorities said.

A helicopter that was on the ground is blown over by high winds, according to the county fire department.

Paramedics were sent to the area of Bouquet Canyon and Vasquez Canyon roads at 9:40 a.m. on a report that person was killed by a helicopter that crashed during high winds, said Inspector Ron Haralson of the county fire department.

County fire Inspector Frank Garrido said the helicopter spiraled out of control and hit the ground, killing a mechanic on the ground. The pilot suffered an apparent minor injury, Garrido said.

The helicopter was operated by a subcontractor on a power line project, Garrido said.

The tail registration number indicates the helicopter is an experimental helicopter built by Kaman Aerospace in 2003, and used for firefighting and industrial lifting projects, according to FAA records.

The helicopters tail was split in two as the vessel lay upside down on a plateau. A big rig also sustained damage during the crash.

 

NBC KMAX

 

Editorial note: Early reports said the helicopter was the on the ground when it toppled over. Authorities later clarified that the chopper was airborne when it lost control.

 

It appears he was airborne, and lost control b/c of the winds. Crew member was killed on the ground. Condolences to the crew members family.

 

Rob

R91

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That's fairly close to the Mystery Mesa area where a lot of us practice. I havent seen a Kaman in the area....anyway very sad.

 

Right now winds are blowing at 30, 40G with a temp of 37 degrees F at my house at 2000 MSL. In other words, damn cold for So Cal and snow is on the way!

 

Goldy

 

 

 

Added- heard it was from Superior up in Oregon... I can attest that we have had some really gusty winds locally.

Edited by Goldy
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Kmax is a single seater yes????

 

Fly

 

 

They have both a single and two seater, but yes, this was a single.

 

Kinda like this one:

 

http://www.swansongroupaviation.com/photo_gallery.php

Edited by Goldy
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They have both a single and two seater, but yes, this was a single.

 

Kinda like this one:

 

http://www.swansongroupaviation.com/photo_gallery.php

 

The KMAX is a single seat helicopter - this is what they fly. The only two seat helicopter similar to it is the huskie - they don't fly these. The other helicopter that you pointed out on that website is a lama.

Edited by Wise Guy
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Ugh. I spent about 3 hours in Omak this year talking to one of the pilots of that same ship. He was very knowledgeable, experienced, and tolerant of my persistent questioning. The KMax is by far my favorite helicopter and with so few it's a shame to see one go, and tragic that it had to take a life with it.

 

My condolences to everyone involved.

 

ResizedKmax.jpg

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Possibly a cross control and blade strike due to the high wind?

 

Very sad, Swanson is a good company.

 

 

Too early for too much speculation, however we did have a discussion on this site a few months ago about cross control issues..

 

Not much update today, but they did say he was taking off...may not have even quite been airborne when a loss of control occurred.

 

Very sad loss on the ground.

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Sad indeed.

 

One post said the tail number came back as experimental, how do they do commercial work with an experimental ship? Restricted perhaps?

 

Probably a separate thread, but many ships are out working that are not certified.

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That particular ship had an experimental cert for testing with the Firehawk (i think it was called firehawk) belly tank system for the Kmax.

 

When the tank wasn't fitted, they were under their normal cert.

 

 

Yeah, but I dont think it was called a FireHawk...thats what they call the BlackHawk conversion..I think it was called FireMax ?? Can't remember, it goes back a couple years now.

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Looks like the preliminary report is out.

 

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=2...81906&key=1

 

On December 17, 2008, about 0930 Pacific standard time, a Kaman Aerospace Corporation, K-1200 helicopter, N267KA, sustained substantial damage after being upset by a wind gust while standing with engines and rotors operating near Santa Clarita, California. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured, while a ground crewman was killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed flight was planned to operate in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, with Whiteman Airport (WHP), Los Angeles, California, the reported destination.

 

In a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to reposition the helicopter to WHP for a holiday break. The pilot stated that after starting the helicopter and while idling, the ground crewman unplugged the portable ground power unit from the left front area of the helicopter. The pilot reported that after the ground crewman had removed the power unit and was moving away from and in front of the helicopter, a right quartering gust of wind suddenly lifted the right side of the helicopter off the ground. The pilot reported that he immediately added full right cyclic to counter the wind gust. However, the helicopter continued to be lifted up, eventually flipping over on its right side before coming to rest inverted. During the upset the helicopter's rotor blades fragmented into multiple pieces as a result of ground impact, and the pieces subsequently struck the ground crewman. The pilot reported no preimpact anomalies with the helicopter.

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