Fukushima Police Leonardo AW139 Accident: JTSB Update (JA139F)
On 25 February 2020 the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) issued an update (in Japanese) on an accident that occurred on 1 February 2020 to Leonardo Helicopters AW139 JA139F of the Fukushima Prefectural Police Aviation Unit. It is understood that the aircraft was transferring human heart for a transplant operation. All seven occupants were injured, four seriously.
Our translation is below:
A total of seven people, including the captain, co-pilot, two mechanics, and three passengers, were on board…
The helicopter descended after flying over the Ou Mountains. It encountered a strong tailwind, so the ground speed increased to 190-200 knots.
At around 08:07, the attitude of the aircraft suddenly changed, and it became difficult to manoeuvre… …at around 08:08, the main rotor blade and tail drive shaft came into contact with each other over Mihota Town, Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture…
The aircraft crashed.
To analyze the cause of contact [the main rotor blade and tail drive shaft], further factual infomation is needed. The JTSB will continue to investigate… In addition, we will hear opinions from the parties involved into the cause and inquire the opinions of the representatives participating the investiogation.
The investigation is supported by representatives and advisors from Italy, the designing country of the accident aircraft, Canada, the country that designs and manufactures engines, and the United States, the country that designs the aircraft equipment.
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