Image courtesy of NTSB
A helicopter crash that killed a Jordanian military pilot and his instructor Aug. 21 near Granger, Texas, was caused by the Hughes 369FF striking an overhead powerline, according to a preliminary National Transportation Safety Board incident report.
About 10 minutes after the flight instructor and foreign registered military pilot took off, the aircraft struck a power cable, crashed into a cotton field and burst into flames. The aircraft was flying under visual conditions in full daylight at the time.
The flight originated from Georgetown Municipal Airport, Georgetown, Texas, after noon Aug. 21 and was destined for Taylor Municipal Airport, Taylor, Texas, according to the report. The helicopter was registered to Air 1 Sandpoint Helicopters and operated by Brunner Aerospace.
The flight was to provide emergency procedure recurrency training to the pilot, who was a member of the Jordanian Armed Forces. Brunner Aerospace was contracted to provide training on behalf of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO).
It was the second day of a nine-day training course intended to be a local orientation flight. The accident sequence was not observed by any witnesses, according to the report.
A series of 36-foot-tall power distribution lines bordered the field where the aircraft crashed, spaced about 450 feet apart. The overhead steel stranded line was severed and a portion of it trailed directly to the wreckage, the report said.
Most of the cabin was consumed by fire. Both the tailcone and tail rotor assembly were found 20 feet from the main wreckage.