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Fake helicopter pilot crashes Bell 47

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Fake helicopter pilot crashes Bell 47

Old 26th Feb 2022, 11:39
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Fake helicopter pilot crashes Bell 47


On August 27, 2019, about 1716 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 47G-4A helicopter, N6064H, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near North Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Part 91 personal flight. According to the pilot, he purchased the helicopter in August 2018 and had flown it only twice. On what would have been his third flight, the pilot was air taxiing about 40 knots when he observed that the engine was not generating enough power to keep the rotor speed in the green arc of the tachometer, so he terminated the flight. The pilot reported that witnesses informed him the engine was backfiring during the hovering. The pilot sought assistance from an acquaintance who professed to be a commercial pilot with 3,000 hours helicopter flight experience, and 300 hours flight experience in Bell 47 helicopters. On the day of the accident, the pilot and the acquaintance cleaned and reinstalled the sparkplugs. They then repositioned the helicopter to a helipad with the intent to run the engine and hover over the helipad. The pilot stated that he lifted the helicopter to a hover, and it was difficult to control. He transferred the flight controls to the passenger, believing that he had more flight experience in the helicopter model. The passenger acknowledged that he had the flight controls. According to the pilot, the helicopter “rapidly tipped and tracked backwards to our right toward the parking lot.” Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors interviewed the passenger, during which he admitted to making false statements of being a certificated pilot. A review of FAA records confirmed that the passenger did not possess a pilot certificate. Review of this security video reveals that, shortly after takeoff to a hover, the helicopter drifted aft, banked left, and yawed to the right. The tail rotor impacted a fuel cart about the same time that the main rotor impacted the ground. The helicopter then rolled onto its left side. The pilot and passenger exited through the right door with assistance from first responders. Examination of the airframe revealed no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the engine revealed that the No. 1 cylinder inner and outer intake valve springs were fractured and had collapsed, which reduced the height of the springs.

Well… what can one say, just been uploaded to the web.
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Old 26th Feb 2022, 12:55
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"Taxiing" a B47 at 40Kts!
Poor old thing'll only do 60 (MPH) flat out!
That's like taxiing Jetranger at 80!
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Old 26th Feb 2022, 14:27
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Old 26th Feb 2022, 18:34
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The insurance company will be loving the statement that was control was given to an un-verified, un-qualifed, un-experienced individual... i'm thinking insurance is null and void... and such a good looking 47...
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Old 27th Feb 2022, 00:54
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The "pilot" who crashed it was an acquaintance who professed to be a commercial pilot with 3,000 hours helicopter flight experience, and 300 hours flight experience in Bell 47 helicopters. Would insurance require the owner to actually verify by way of seeing his documentation as proof prior to letting him fly?
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Old 27th Feb 2022, 08:09
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
The "pilot" who crashed it was an acquaintance who professed to be a commercial pilot with 3,000 hours helicopter flight experience, and 300 hours flight experience in Bell 47 helicopters. Would insurance require the owner to actually verify by way of seeing his documentation as proof prior to letting him fly?
Every insurance policy i've ever seen specifies minimum requirements.

It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that those requirements are met.

Does the policy specify how the owner should verify? perhaps not.

But if he does not verify then watch them run for the hills.

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Old 27th Feb 2022, 10:49
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If you read the story, friend of a friend fellow airport bum, easy going and on several occasions helped him tinkering with it.
Apparently talked the talk and walked the walk.
Not a single one of use would have asked him for credentials.
Handing over controls was a spur of the moment thing and the insurance company will sue the pretender.
We all know people at the airport that embellish their “aeronautical” experience.
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Old 27th Feb 2022, 17:16
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It seems to me that the problem here isn't someone running around the airport making up stories of their flying experience. The problem is a pilot and command willing to yell "You have control" to someone and let go of the controls.

I have had to explain to many students that if something goes wrong, yelling "You have control" is not an option. I'll take control if I need to and you'll know I'm taking control. Until that point fly the aircraft.
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Old 27th Feb 2022, 19:36
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Lmao,... I'm just happy it wasn't another Robby.

,...though my heart does go out to a fellow 2-blader.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 00:14
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I have had to explain to many students that if something goes wrong, yelling "You have control" is not an option. I'll take control if I need to and you'll know I'm taking control. Until that point fly the aircraft
The only trouble with that is you have absolutely no idea why the person on the controls wishes to relinquish control, think medical event for one. The protocol is for the pilot flying to state "You have control" and for the other to state "I have control", which is what the two in the B-47 did, though the article doesn't state the terms they used to achieve that.
He transferred the flight controls to the passenger, believing that he had more flight experience in the helicopter model. The passenger acknowledged that he had the flight controls
The question is why would you accept control if you knew you didn't have the experience, in this case it seems ego wouldn't allow him to admit that he didn't have the experience he had previously touted.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 08:26
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
the insurance company will sue the pretender.

Why would the insurance company sue the pretender? They will just walk away and leave the owner to try and sue whoever he thinks he can.

I feel sorry for the owner in this situation but he is responsible to taking reasonable care of his asset.

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Old 28th Feb 2022, 12:06
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 18:06
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Originally Posted by OvertHawk View Post
Why would the insurance company sue the pretender? They will just walk away and leave the owner to try and sue whoever he thinks he can.
Depends, if terms don’t permit them to repudiate the claim, they would recoup it from the fake pilot.
If they can bail on the claim its up to the owner, but I am sure US courts would tolerate the sort of bobbing and weaving the “comm” pilot could come up with.
At some point the owner has to accept responsibility for his own decisions.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 23:10
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post
Depends, if terms don’t permit them to repudiate the claim, they would recoup it from the fake pilot.
If they can bail on the claim its up to the owner, but I am sure US courts would tolerate the sort of bobbing and weaving the “comm” pilot could come up with.
At some point the owner has to accept responsibility for his own decisions.
why is the insurance company interested? It’s not their possession. If the owner tries to claim, they’ll just laugh!
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 08:14
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Originally Posted by 212man View Post
why is the insurance company interested? It’s not their possession. If the owner tries to claim, they’ll just laugh!
Not sure how your insurance works, but all of them have a contractual obligation to review the claim and to provide cover within the policy terms.
Just laughing isn't an option.
They have to be able to show a justifiable reason, such as negligence, or the accident being outside of the policy conditions.
Legally it can get a bit grey. Many policies will have a blanket approval for type rated commercial pilots with X hours to perform maintenance checks or ferries etc, in this instance the question is then what amount of due diligence falls onto the owner.
If the policy only permits named pilots, then they have a good reason.
All this assumes he is actually insured.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 08:40
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All this assumes he is actually insured
And that he actually tried to claim. I can't imagine anybody attempting that in the circumstances.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 15:06
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post
They have to be able to show a justifiable reason, such as negligence, or the accident being outside of the policy conditions.
(my bolds above)

The owner of the aircraft gave control to someone who was not qualified as a pilot (a fairly specific policy condition of any aviation insurance i've ever seen) after failing to ascertain and verify his qualification. How is that not negligent?

As i said earlier - I really feel for this owner but he's not got a leg to stand on in terms of his insurance. The best that he could hope for is that there may be some form of legal support protection in the insurance that might help him sue the pretender (but even then I think he's on a hiding to nothing.)

If ever there was an example of why it is important to get the admin and paperwork right it's this sad tale.







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