News & Comment

Loss of Control, Twice, by Offshore Helicopter off Nova Scotia

Posted by on 2:39 pm in Accidents & Incidents, FDM / Data Recorders, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Offshore, Oil & Gas / IOGP / Energy, Safety Culture, Safety Management

Loss of Control, Twice, by Offshore Helicopter off Nova Scotia (CHO Sikorsky S-92 C-GICB) On 24 July 2019 Canadian Helicopters Offshore (CHO) Sikorsky S-92A C-GICB suffered a loss of control during a visual approach to the ExxonMobil Thebaud Central Facility (TCF) in the Sable gas field off Nova Scotia.  A high-rate-of-descent and low-airspeed condition developed in low-visibility conditions.  As the helicopter descended below 250 feet it was in a steep, 800 fpm descent, at very low airspeed. When the Pilot Flying (PF) instinctively increased...

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Sécurité Civile Fatal EC145 CFIT: Night, Low Ceiling and a Change in Route

Posted by on 9:36 am in Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft

Sécurité Civile Fatal EC145 F-ZBPZ CFIT near Marseille: Night, Low Ceiling and a Change in Route On 1 December 2019 Airbus Helicopters EC145 (BK117C2) F-ZBPZ, callsign Dragon 30, of the Sécurité Civile suffered a Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) between near Pennes-Mirabeau at 20:47 Local Time while en route from Marseille-Provence (MRS/LFML) to Le Luc-Le Cannet (LFMC).   The CFIT followed an Inadvertent entry into Instrument Metrological Conditions (IIMC) during a night Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight.  The three occupants (pilot,...

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A Second from Disaster: RNoAF C-130J Near CFIT

Posted by on 3:50 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Fixed Wing, Human Factors / Performance, Military / Defence, Regulation, Safety Culture, Safety Management

A Second from Disaster: RNoAF C-130J Near CFIT (Recommendations on Risk Management, Safety Culture & Independent Regulation) On the evening of 11 March 2020 a Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules with eight people on board nearly crashed into the rocky island of Mosken in Værøy municipality, Lofoten. After a last-minute evasive manoeuvre the aircraft cleared the island by 144 ft, avoiding a Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT).  The Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority (NSIA) say (emphasis added) : If the...

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Unballasted Sling Stings Speedy Squirrel

Posted by on 7:25 am in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Logistics, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft

Unballasted Sling Stings Speedy Squirrel (AS350B3e / H125 F-HLXO doing HESLO in France) On 30 October 2020 Airbus Helicopters AS350B3e (H125) Squirrel F-HLXO of Héliberté suffered an accident during Helicopter External Sling Load Operations (HESLO) in Thiézac when after a change of plan, an underslung steel cable became tangled in the tail rotor when return from delivering a load. The Accident The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (the BEA) explain in their safety investigation...

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Plan Continuation Bias & IIMC in Kenyan Police AW119 Accident

Posted by on 6:36 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft

Plan Continuation Bias & IIMC in Kenyan Police AW119 Accident (NPSAW 5y-NPW, Meru, Kenya) On 13 June 2020 Leonardo AW119 Mk II Koala 5Y-NPW of the Kenyan National Police Service Air Wing (NPSAW) was destroyed when it collided with trees in fog while attempting a precautionary landing at Cyompiou, Meru.  Two of the occupants were seriously injured, and 4 suffered minor injuries. The Accident The Kenyan Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) explain in their safety investigation report, issued creditably promptly in March 2021,...

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USAF MQ-9A Reaper Lever Confusion: Human Factors

Posted by on 6:57 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Design & Certification, Fixed Wing, Human Factors / Performance, Military / Defence, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft, Unmanned (Drone / RPAS / UAS / UAV)

USAF MQ-9A Reaper Lever Confusion: Human Factors On 25 June 2020 US Air Force General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper 15-4295, operated by the 108th Attack Squadron (a New York Air National Guard Formal Training Unit) lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Syracuse Hancock International Airport, New York and impacted the ground just beyond the runway. The USAF Accident Investigation Board reported that: At 13:23:41Z, the Mishap Pilot (MP) applied takeoff power to the MA and began the takeoff down runway 33 Syracuse Hancock International Airport....

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The Curious Case of the Missing Shear Pin that Didn’t Shear: A Fatal Powerline Stringing Accident

Posted by on 11:43 am in Accidents & Incidents, Design & Certification, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Maintenance / Continuing Airworthiness / CAMOs, Oil & Gas / IOGP / Energy, Safety Management, Special Mission Aircraft

The Curious Case of the Missing Shear Pin that Didn’t Shear: A Fatal Powerline Stringing Accident (Rogers Helicopters MD 530F [Hughes 369FF] N530KD, near Chalmers, Indiana) Recently a dramatic video of a helicopter crashing after becoming connected to an electricity pylon has been doing the rounds on social media.  Invariably the video, in which the pilot dies, was posted ‘for clicks’ without any context or explanation. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has in fact reported on this 2017 accident which is...

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Fatal 2019 DC-3 Turbo Prop Accident, Positioning for FAA Flight Test: Power Loss Plus Failure to Feather

Posted by on 5:16 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Fixed Wing, Human Factors / Performance, Safety Management

Fatal 2019 DC-3 Turbo Prop Accident, Positioning for FAA Flight Test: Power Loss Plus Failure to Feather (N467KS) On 21 January 2019 a 1944 Douglas DC-3C-65TP, N467KS, owned by Priority Air Cargo and operated by AFM Hardware, was involved in a take-off accident in Kidron, Ohio. Both pilots onboard were fatally injured. The Accident Flight The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) explain in their safety investigation report (issued in November 2020) that the aircraft… …was the prototype for an Amended Supplemental Type...

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Windscreen Rain Refraction: Mountain Mine Site HESLO CFIT

Posted by on 2:34 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Human Factors / Performance, Logistics, Mining / Resource Sector, Safety Management

Windscreen Rain Refraction: Mountain Mine Site HESLO CFIT (Aberdeen Helicopters Airbus AS350B2 C-FAHC) On 17 August 2020 Airbus Helicopters AS350B2 C-FAHC of Aberdeen Helicopters impacted a mountainside near Eskay Creek Mine, Iskut River, 45 nm from Stewart, British Columbia.  This was during Helicopter External Sling Load Operations (HESLO) supporting mineral exploration.  The pilot, the sole occupant, died in this Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accident.  There was also a post crash fire. The Accident Flight The Transportation Safety...

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AS350B3 Ditching Japan

Posted by on 3:05 pm in Accidents & Incidents, Helicopters, Offshore, Safety Management, Survivability / Ditching

Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 Ditching Japan (Excel Air Services JA350D) On 8 June 2018, Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 JA350D of Excel Air Service, ditched c 41 km NW of Naha airport while en route to Aguni airport. The pilot was seriously injured. The Accident Flight The Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) explain in their safety investigation report that while in cruise at c 110 kt and 1,000 ft at around 15:25 the pilot heard a warning ‘gong’, the engine governor light (GOV) illuminated and the pilot had to counter a right yaw.  Main...

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