The pilot of the Robinson R22 helicopter was taking a passenger up for a “hog hunt” flight near Wadsworth, Texas.
As he lifted off the ground, about 40′ to 50′, and the passenger’s gun became lodged in the cyclic control. He instructed the passenger to move his gun multiple times, but the passenger “seized up and panicked.”
The helicopter hit the ground, and the fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.
The pilot reported that it was the second hunt with the passenger and that he had provided a safety briefing before the accident flight. He added that, during the safety briefing, he discussed gun safety, when and where to shoot, and instructions on avoiding areas with the flight controls.
He added that, as a safety recommendation, he will conduct a more thorough safety briefing, including an on-ground, engine-off cockpit simulation and a lesson on firearm safety.
Probable cause: The passenger’s gun becoming lodged in the flight controls during takeoff and his failure to remove it, which resulted in impact with terrain.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA129
This February 2018 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Buy a Huey gun ship next time then take 8 more friends along
Marian Jensen says
Score one for the hogs. Hunting from a helicopter? Is that really “Sporting?”
Jerry King says
Too Crowded. No room for gun plus S-hole
The gun did not bring down the helicopter…..gravity did….the gun was a contributing factor to the chain of events which resulted the PIC made poor decisions…..you ever sat in an R-22 ?….no room for a rifle with all flight controls present…..