Witnesses At TWT Stated That They Were Aware Of “Stormy” Weather In The Surrounding Area
Location: Mammoth Cave, KY Accident Number: ERA22FA397
Date & Time: September 3, 2022, 17:40 Local Registration: N162NH
Aircraft: Hisserich Nicholas S Jetexec Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On September 3, 2022, about 1740 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur built Rotorcraft JetExec helicopter, N162NH, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Arthur, Kentucky. The pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
The helicopter was recently purchased in St. Louis, Missouri by the owner, who asked a friend to fly it on a multi-leg flight to Knoxville, Tennessee, where it would be based. The third leg of the trip was intended to depart Sturgis Municipal Airport (TWT), Sturgis, Kentucky, for Glasgow Municipal Airport (GLW), Glasgow, Kentucky. Several witnesses at TWT stated that they were aware of “stormy” weather in the surrounding area, and they tried to convince the pilot to wait a day or two for the weather to improve. The pilot did not want to wait and departed for GLW with his wife. About 30 minutes later, the pilot returned to the departure airport, dropped off his wife and subsequently departed again. The pilot’s wife flew home in a private airplane and when her husband did not arrive later that evening, she reported him missing. The wreckage was subsequently located in the Mammoth Cave National State Park on September 5th.
The accident site was located in heavily wooded, steep terrain. The airframe came to rest on its left side oriented on a heading of about 45° magnetic. The cabin, instrument panel, seats, and engine compartment were all fractured in several pieces. The tail boom remained attached to the fuselage but was heavy damaged from impact forces. The tail rotor was wedged between two trees and both tail rotor blades were fractured off and located near the front of the helicopter. The engine was impact separated from the gearbox. The engine exhibited evidence of tortional twisting. The engine rotated freely. The main rotor gearbox rotated freely. A borescope was used to inspect the combustion and turbine blades.
No anomalies were noted with the engine. The helicopter was recovered and retained for further examination.