Fall From Stretcher During Taiwanese SAR Mission (NASC AS365N2 NA-104)
On 4 November 2018, a National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) Airbus Helicopters AS365N2 Dauphin NA-104, took off from Kaohsiung International Airport at 1715 Local Time. It was to do a Search and Rescue (SAR) tasking to hoist an unconscious patient from a cargo ship c 2.5 nm offshore. At about 1726, while hoisting, the patient fell from stretcher into the sea. They were recovered but pronounced dead on landing.
Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB), which recently replaced the Aviation Safety Council (ASC) of Taiwan, issued their safety investigation report on 31 October 2019 (only available in full in Chinese). On arrival at the ship the patient was found to be conscious, but not speaking. The hoisting commenced from the vessel’s superstructure at an altitude of 150 ft ASL.
The TTSB explain that during the hoisting the casualty started to wave their arms and the stretcher started to spin.
Stills from the hoist video suggest that the aircraft was ascending during the hoist sequence and as the patient waved their arms the stretcher tilted and the patient started to slip head first from the stretcher.
It appears that the aircraft was carrying strops and a rescue basket but not the stainless steel, foldable SAR stretcher that NASC had available at their base.
The stretcher used was one supplied by the ship and images seems to indicated that the patient’s head was elevated on a white pillow positioned on the raised edge of the stretcher, potentially positioned their centre of gravity towards the head of the stretcher (as well as a FOD risk).
There may also have been time pressures as the AS365N2 was not equipped with autohover and nighttime was closing in. No safety recommendations were made.
NASC suffered another fatal hoisting accident shortly after. We’ll publish a summary of that in December.
- Tail Rotor Pitch Control Loss During Hoisting: Fatal NASC AS365N3 hoisting accident
- Hoist Assembly Errors: SAR Personnel Dropped Into Sea: NASC UH-60M hoist failure
- Taiwan Night Medevac Helicopter Take Off Accident: NASC UH-60M Loss of Control In-flight, high descent rate and water impact
- Fatal Fall From B429 During Helicopter Hoist Training
- Marine Pilot Transfer Winching Accident
- Swedish Special Forces SPIES and Military SMS
- USAF UH-1H Helicopter Hoist Training Accident: equipment snagged on obstacle
- UPDATE 14 December 2019: Fatal Taiwanese Night SAR Hoist Mission (NASC AS365N3 NA-106)
- UPDATE 27 December 2019: Fatal Powerline Human External Cargo Flight
- UPDATE 19 April 2020: SAR Helicopter Loss of Control at Night: ATSB Report
- UPDATE 2 May 2020: Sécurité Civile EC145 SAR Wirestrike
- UPDATE 11 May 2020: European Search and Rescue (SAR) Competition Bonanza
SAR Consultancy: Procurement, Tenders, Contacts and In-Service Assurance and Aviation Advice
In September 2017 one European Coast Guard selected Aerossurance to be their new aviation consultants after a competitive tender with 7 bidders. In July 2018 Aerossurance started work supporting a second European Coast Guard with a procurement project. The Aerossurance team is and has supported humanitarian aid agencies, air ambulance charities, military air arms, environmental agencies and blue chip energy companies on other emergency service and special mission aviation projects around the world.