18-Nov-15 N711BE Airbus AS350B3 Carlsbad, US-California (2F)

Landing on trolley pad went wrong – aircraft tipped back and hit tail on ground twice, then lurched forward and crashed, breaking off the main blades and tail.  Lack of tail rotor then started the fuselage spinning on the ground, which it did dozens of times (see track in this video) before gradually coming to a halt and finally catching fire

Both occupants suffered fatal injuries – named as 65-year-old pilot Bruce Allen Erickson (chairman of American Bank – Montana) and 60- year-old passenger Wayne Frank Lewis, his real estate agent.

Just moments before spinning out of control, the pilot is reported as saying to ATC that the ground handler(s) had not chocked the wheeled landing trolley, and thus the downdraft made it a moving target, and could have been contributory to the accident.

This AS350B3 was registered N711BE.  The registration is currently showing in FAA records as reserved by Mr Erickson, but not allocated to a given airframe.  This is likely to be an admin “pace” issue.  N711BE was previously allocated to Mr Erickson’s Bell 407, which he sold recently

Date
November 18, 2015
Reg
N711BE
Make
Eurocopter
Model
AS350
Location
McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad
Country
US-California
CivilMilitary
Civil
Fatal
2
Link 1
http://fox5sandiego.com/2015/11/19/men-killed-in-palomar-helicopter-crash-identified/
Link 2
http://www.10news.com/news/men-killed-in-palomar-chopper-crash-idd
Link 3
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Wayne-Lewis-Bruce-Erickson-Carlsbad-Palomar-Airport-Helicopter-Crash-Victims-351850521.html

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