News & Comment

Helicopter Ops and Safety – Gulf Of Mexico 2019 Update

Posted by on 6:49 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Airfields / Heliports / Helidecks, Helicopters, Offshore, Oil & Gas / IOGP / Energy, Safety Management, Survivability / Ditching

Helicopter Ops and Safety – Gulf of Mexico 2019 Update The Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference (HSAC) has been publishing data on the Gulf of Mexico (‘GOM’) offshore helicopter fleet and its safety since 1995.  We have looked at their 2014. 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 reports previously.  Now we examine their 2019 data, dated 28 May 2020 but only released in mid-December 2020. Helicopter Operations: GOM Fleet Data HSAC report that flying activity continues to decline, with just over 163k flying hours in 2019 (11% down on the...

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Helicopter Destroyed in Hover Taxi Accident

Posted by on 2:13 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Airfields / Heliports / Helidecks, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management

Helicopter Destroyed in Hover Taxi Accident (Private Airbus AS350B N36033, Wolfsberg, Austria) On 20 July 2018 privately owned Airbus Helicopters AS350B N36033 was destroyed while attempting to hover taxi closer to a fuelling station at Wolfsberg airfield in Austria.  The pilot suffered a minor leg injury. The Austrian air accident investigation body, the Sicherheitsuntersuchungsstelle des Bundes (SUB) issued their safety investigation report on 15 December 2020 (in German only). They explain that the pilot had departed the Adriatic town...

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Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche Accident After Unapproved Parts Failed

Posted by on 7:49 am in Accidents & Incidents, Fixed Wing, Maintenance / Continuing Airworthiness / CAMOs, Safety Management

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche Accident After Unapproved Parts Failed (ZS-ICB) On 29 March 2019, during a training flight to practise asymmetric circuits Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche ZS-ICB of Johannesburg School of Flying was destroyed at Hiltonia-Syferfontein Airport (FASY). The student and instructor escaped with minor injuries. The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) explain in their safety investigation report (issued 15 October 2020) that: After a successful touch down, the student pilot then applied full power to both engines for...

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NH90 Caribbean Loss of Control – Inflight, Water Impact and Survivability Issues

Posted by on 6:29 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Crises / Emergency Response / SAR, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Military / Defence, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft, Survivability / Ditching

NH90 Caribbean Loss of Control – Inflight, Water Impact and Survivability Issues  On 19 July 2020, a Royal Netherlands Navy NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) N-324 was destroyed in a water impact in the Caribbean near HMNLS Groningen. Two of the four crew died.  The aircraft, which capsized and initially floated inverted, sank the next day after the forward flotation bags deflated. The Dutch Safety Board (DSB or Onderzoeksraad) issued a report (in Dutch only) on 9 December 2020.  This followed an ‘exploratory...

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Pilatus PC-12 Pacific Ditching

Posted by on 10:38 am in Accidents & Incidents, Business Aviation, Crises / Emergency Response / SAR, Fixed Wing, Safety Management, Survivability / Ditching

Pilatus PC-12 Pacific Ditching (N400PW Ferry Flight) On 6 November 2020 Pilatus PC-12NGX N400PW ditched in the Pacific Ocean about 870 nm east of Hilo, Hawaii during a ferry flight. The two crew were rescued uninjured after 22 hours. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) explain in their preliminary report that… …the pilot-in-command (PIC), who was also the ferry company owner….and another pilot were ferrying a new airplane from California to Australia. The first transoceanic leg was planned for 10 hours from...

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A Saab 2000 Descended 900 ft Too Low on Approach to Billund

Posted by on 10:52 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Fixed Wing, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management

A Saab 2000 Descended 900 ft Too Low on Approach to Billund (Darwin Airlines HB-IZW) On 10 December 2015 Saab 2000 HB-IZW of Darwin Airline (branded Etihad Regional but operated for on behalf of Air Berlin), that had earlier departed from Berlin Tegel, Germany, suffered a serious incident on approach to Billund, Denmark.  During this approach, the aircraft descended steeply and below the minimum safe altitude prompting a Terrain Avoidance and Warning System (TAWS) warning.  The aircraft diverted back to Berlin and landed safely. History of...

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NTSB on LA A109S Rooftop Hospital Helipad Landing Accident

Posted by on 1:33 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Airfields / Heliports / Helidecks, Helicopters, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft

NTSB on LA A109S Rooftop Hospital Helipad Landing Accident (N109EX of Helinet Aviation Services / Prime Healthcare at USC Kerk) The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have published their preliminary report on Leonardo Helicopters AW109S N109EX of Helinet Aviation Services which crashed onto the University of Southern California (USC) Keck Medical Center (USC Keck) rooftop helipad in Los Angeles, California on 6 November 2020. The helicopter was making a Part 135 helicopter air ambulance flight, with a donor heart for a transplant...

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Air Ambulance A109S Spatial Disorientation in Night IMC

Posted by on 7:26 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft, Survivability / Ditching

Air Ambulance Helicopter Spatial Disorientation in Night IMC (North Memorial Healthcare Leonardo A109S N11NM, Minnesota) On 28 June 2019, at about 0040 Local Time Leonardo Helicopters AW109S N11NM, an air ambulance operated by North Memorial Healthcare, was destroyed at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD), Minnesota. The pilot and flight nurse died at the scene.  The flight paramedic was seriously injured. The helicopter had been approaching the airport in dark night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) after delivering a patient to...

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Alaskan AS350B3e Accident: Botched Autorotation Practice?

Posted by on 7:45 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management, Survivability / Ditching

Alaskan Airbus AS350B3e Accident: Botched Autorotation Practice? (N907PL) On 28 September 2018 a private Airbus Helicopters AS350B3e (H125) N907PL was destroyed in an accident in Glacier Bay National Park, near Lituya Bay, about 60 miles NW of Gustavus, Alaska. One person died, 2 remain missing presumed dead and one was seriously injured. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) explain in their safety investigation report that: The private pilot [aged 42, 1,129 flying hours total, 26 on type and president of Anchorage’s Davis...

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AOA Anomalies on Successive B737-800 Flights

Posted by on 8:16 am in Accidents & Incidents, Fixed Wing, Human Factors / Performance, Maintenance / Continuing Airworthiness / CAMOs, Safety Management

AOA Anomalies on Successive Transavia Boeing 737-800 Flights (F-GZHO) Transavia France Boeing 737-800 F-GZHO suffered Angle of Attack (AOA) anomalies and alerts during take off from Norwich, UK on 7 February 2018 and then on 8 February 2018 after take off from Paris Orly, France.  The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (the BEA) explain in their safety investigation report, issued on 16 November 2020, that the first flight was a ferry flight after a base maintenance C-Check at KLM UK...

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