Wednesday, March 13 2013 @ 04:40 PM CDT
NTSB Identification: CEN13FA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 22, 2013 in Oklahoma City, OK
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS 350 B2, registration: N917EM
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On February 22, 2013, approximately 0542 central standard time, an Eurocopter AS350B2 emergency medical service (EMS) configured helicopter, N917EM, registered to Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc., care of EagleMed LLC, of Wichita Kansas, impacted in the parking lot of St. Ann’s Retirement Home located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a repositioning flight. The intent of the flight was a prescribed inter-hospital transfer of a cardiac patient from the Watonga Municipal Hospital to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Of the three crewmembers onboard, the commercial pilot and flight nurse sustained fatal injuries and the paramedic sustained serious injuries. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity along the route of flight and accident site and a company flight plan was filed with EagleMed flight dispatch control. The flight originated from the Integris Baptist Hospital (OK19) helipad at 0538 and its intended destination was Watonga, Oklahoma.
SkyConnect satellite data showed that the helicopter departed OK19 and began a gradual climb on a northwest bearing toward Watonga. The data stopped approximately 3 minutes and 30 seconds into the flight.
A person who was driving in the vicinity of the accident site reported that he distinctly observed a "flash" in the sky in front of him. After the flash, he saw the helicopter in an increasingly rapid descent before it disappeared behind buildings. He then drove toward an area where smoke was emanating and saw that the helicopter was on fire in the parking lot of St. Ann’s. He immediately assisted others (St. Ann’s employees) in pulling the surviving paramedic away from the burning aircraft.
Fixed video surveillance cameras located on a building adjacent to the parking lot showed the last few seconds of the helicopter descending toward the ground. The video showed that the helicopter burst into flames upon impact. From the initial impact point, the debris path was approximately 75 feet in length, on a heading of 065 degrees magnetic. All of the impact signatures were consistent with a right side low (approximate 40 degree) attitude, with a high rate of descent. Using the geometry of impact signatures and adjacent structures clearance, the helicopter’s angle of descent was approximately 25 degrees.
At 04:53, an automated weather reporting facility at the Wiley Post Airport (KPWA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, reported wind from 340 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 19 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 12 degrees F, and a barometric pressure of 30.02 inches of mercury.