On January 17, 2019 at 15:59 minutes local time, Sky Service Chopper Eurocopter EC-130T2 crashed in Almaty, Kazakhstan on the grounds of a sanatorium. The pilot Valentin Shitov survived the impact but did not make it to the hospital. The ferry flight took off from Boralday but did not arrive at its destination Big Almaty Lake.
CHC Helikopter Crashes In Norway en Route from Gullfaks B Oil rig
Friday night 13 people died in a helicopter crash in a Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma crash in Norway,in Turøy west of Sotra. The helicopter was flying out of Gullfaks B Oil rig to the Bergen – Flesland airport whenthe rotor separated from the helicopter. Helicopters, boats and firetrucks responded to the scene, and though no numbers were available, reporter Kyrre Styve from the Vestnytt newspaper said it was “everything available.” The helicopter’s rotor system was on land and the Fuselage was found in the water. The tail was raised by a crane from 7 meters deep. The helicopter is owned by CHC Helikopter service.
Statoil CEO Arne Sigve Nylund said “This is a profound tragedy. There are 13 colleagues who do not come home.” Gullfaks B oil field work has been temporarily suspended.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center said, “We do not believe anyone can be found alive.” Eleven Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian were aboard.
A center for relatives has been set up at Scandic Kokstad hotel in Bergen. The number for families is 800 500 20.
Argentina: Helicopters Collide as French Survivor Reality Show Filming “Dropped”
Ten people died near Villa Castelli in La Rioja province, Argentina when two helicopters (Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil) and (Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil) carrying French contestants, crew and two Argentine pilots collided and exploded during the production of ‘Dropped,’ a French reality show.
The fatalities included Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodya Guinard, Brice Guilbert, and Edouard Gilles of the French production team, and three celebrities: swimmer Camille Muffat, boxer Alexis Vastine, and French sailor Florence Arthaud, and the two Argentine pilots:Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.
One helicopter, LQ-FJQ, was owned and operated by Gobierno de Santiago del Estero, and the other, LQ-CGK, by the Government of La Rioja.
Police Service Eurocopter Missing in Botswana
A Botswana Police Service Eurocopter AS350 was en route on a routine patrol between Gumare and Maun Botswana, and went missing in the Okavango. The flight left at 19:10 and was expected at 20:10.
The captain, copilot and an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer were aboard at the time it disappeared. A search is underway, but it has not yet been located. The families of those who are missing have been notified.
The police enlisted the public and local pilots in the search as well as the Botswana Defence Force, (BDF) and Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS). Search and rescue teams have been deployed, and there is also a meeting at Maun Airport concerning the disappearance.
Medical Helicopter Crashes on Hospital Roof Helipad
The new PHI Air Medical Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil (#N395P) on its first flight had just delivered a patient from Rio Rancho to University of New Mexico hospital. Taking off from the hospital roof, the helicopter crashed, injuring the pilot and two medics aboard. No patients were aboard at the time.
The helicopter lifted off for 30 feet, spun, then fell back to the roof; the tail impacted the building and the helicopter rolled on to its side. It caught fire, but the fire was put out by sprinklers. The top two floors of the hospital were evacuated as a precaution. The accident occurred at a quarter to six pm on April 9, and NTSB investigators arrived Thursday morning.
PHI (Petroleum Helicopters International) flies patients to hospitals, medical equipment, gas, oil, and technology.
Helicopter Skids Down German Slope
On January 26, 2014, a Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V. Eurocopter EC135 P2 flew a medical evacuation of a skiing accident victim.
The pilot aborted two landings that were too steep, and had landed on the third try on the snow-covered hill near a ski run in Oberwiesenthal.
The pilot had just left the helicopter when it slid under its own weight thirty meters into the valley, and collided with a post and a vehicle, and sustained damage. There were skiers around as the helicopter slid by but they managed to get out of the way. There were no casualties except for the rotor blade of the helicopter. The investigation is underway.
Without their admission of fault, compensation has begun by Bond Aviation Group whose helicopter crashed the Clutha pub in Glasgow and injured dozens and killed ten.
A statement by Bond Aviation Group said that “Most claims should be capable of being settled without delay…However, for complex claims which may take longer to resolve, and where appropriate, we will make interim payments without the need for each party to apply to the court.”
After the accident, Eurocopter issued a Safety Information Notice.
Eurocopter has issued a Safety Information Notice (SIN) to operators of the EC135 across the world regarding the issue involving the fuel indication and alert system discovered by Bond during normal service operations on Wednesday 11th, which we immediately reported to Eurocopter and the appropriate authorities. The SIN states: “Following this incident, fuel system functionality tests performed by Bond Air Services and two other EC135 operators in Europe have revealed possible similar supply-tank fuel gauging errors on some aircraft.”
As soon as we discovered this issue, in line with our commitment to the highest standards of safety, we took the prudent decision to temporarily suspend service operations whilst we conducted checks on our fleet of EC135s. The results of these tests were subsequently validated by Eurocopter, and appropriate repairs made before returning the aircraft to service. We also took the decision to increase safety barriers by mandating that all our EC135s should maintain a minimum of 90kg of fuel onboard at all times. All our EC135 aircraft are now fully operational and are available for missions with our air ambulance and police customers.
Puma Gearbox Metal Shavings Conflict
The gearbox is a center of controversy in the investigation of the accident where the Bond Super Puma crashed off Peterhead, killing 16 men including two crew: Capt Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick, Aberdeenshire, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, of Droitwich Spa, who worked for Bond Offshore Helicopters, KCA Deutag employees Brian Barkley, 30, of Aberdeen; Vernon Elrick, 41, of Aberdeen; Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire; Nairn Ferrier, 40, of Dundee; Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus; David Rae, 63, of Dumfries; Raymond Doyle, 57, of Cumbernauld; James John Edwards, 33, of Liverpool; Nolan Goble, 34, of Norwich, and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, of Latvia; and non employees James Costello, 24, of Aberdeen, who was contracted to Production Services Network (PSN); Alex Dallas, 62, of Aberdeen, who worked for Sparrows Offshore Services; Warren Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, who worked for Weatherford UK; and Stuart Wood, 27, of Aberdeen, who worked for Expro North Sea Ltd.
The inquiry blames the crash on gearbox failure, but for Bond and French company Eurocopter the question remains exactly where metal particles (evidence!) were found in the gearbox.
Eurocopter Fuel Gauge Safety Alert
No one is saying that the recently discovered Eurocoptor problem with the low fuel level warning system had anything to do with Clutha ——leased police Eurocopter crashed thru the roof of the Clutha pub in Glasgow killing three crew members and seven people inside the pub——but it is out there on the table and one of those things that make you go hmmm. Connection or not, the Clutha accident is causing Eurocopter to take a closer look at their helicopters.
The preliminary report on Clutha is not out yet, but there are reports that the helicopter did not run out of fuel.
The Eurocopter fuel indicator problem is that the supply-tank fuel gauge can overestimate how much fuel is in the tank. Apparently the gauge can skip amber and go straight to red (low fuel.)
Eurocopter is sending out safety notices about the issue..
In the Clutha crash, the number of fatalities has risen to ten.
Clutha Helicopter Crash
The preliminary investigation of the Clutha helicopter crash revealed …
- 95 liters left in the police helicopter
- no evidence of engine failure
- no evidence of gearbox failure
- all significant components were present
- all rotor grades were attached at the time of the crash
- neither main blades nor tail blades were rotating
Other than ruling out what is not the cause, investigators may be no closer to determining the reason the helicopter fell out of the air. The report says there was “no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine” of the Eurocopter EC135 as it returned from a police operation in Dalkeith, Midlothian, on the night of the crash.
There were no flight recorders, but there is radar data and radio communications. The pilot had 5,500 hours, 646 in type.
The wreckage is at AAIB’s headquarters, and the investigation continues.
A fund has been opened for the victims. Donations can be made to the fund by calling 0141 287 7878 and paying by debit or credit card. Cash or cheques can be handed in to the council’s service desk at 45 John Street, Glasgow G1 1JE and bank payments can be made to Clutha Appeal Fund, sort code 83-44-00, account 10804129.
Glasgow Helicopter Crash Update
The “Bond Air Services Ltd. for Police Scotland” Eurocopter EC135 T2+ registration #G-SPAO with three aboard crashed in the Clutha Pub, Stockwell Street, Glasgow. Three of the victims were aboard, six on the ground.
Two witnesses Billy and Michael Byrne were inside the Clutha Vaults pub when the police helicopter crashed into it. The noise of the impact was indescribable, then…
There was a sort of silence.The whole ceiling at the left hand side of the bar, where it had been, had collapsed in on itself and the gantry of the bar also collapsed. There was an initial bout of screaming. There was a huge ball of dust. I went and opened the doors. Whilst I was holding the door I could see my brother…
Then, after finding each other, the two assisted where they could.
I think that person was conscious. He was moaning so he was conscious. There was a second person under him and that person, to me, didn’t look conscious — he was face-down. When we got out I spent time with a chap who was injured. He had a head injury. We put him in an ambulance and hopefully he is fine. We were fine. We were just lucky.
Others described the helicopter as tumbling at a strange angle, or that it dropped like a stone. Inside, the patrons of the bar heard a large bang before the lights went out. Others describe a whoosh, smoke, and eerie silence as the plane fell. The roof fell in, and dust floated in, choking everyone.
First responders were passers by. Some survivors walked away. The numbers of the casualties were initially 6 deceased, 32 hospitalized. The victims totaled nine, at last release. Two officers and a civilian pilot were aboard. Search and rescue dogs assisted in the search and rescue operation. Air accident investigation investigators, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and rescue personnel were on the scene.
The helicopter involved passed a safety check last year. The helicopter does not have a flight data recorder but some of the systems may have recoverable data.
- Robert Jenkins, 61
- Mark O’Prey, 44
- Colin Gibson, 33
- John McGarrigle, 57
- Samuel McGhee, 56
- Gary Arthur, 48
- helicopter pilot David Traill, 51
- PC Kirsty Nelis, 36
- PC Tony Collins, 43
Rescue Helocopter Crashes during Maintenance Flight
A Metro Aviation / Life Air Rescue Eurocopter EC-135P-1 was on a test flight with the pilot and two mechanic aboard when it crashed in a field behind Metro Aviation. All three aboard were injured, and hospitalized at Willis-Knighton Hospital.
There was fuel on the ground, so emergency responders followed hazmat protocol. The accident was close to Shreveport Downtown Airport in a field at Hawn and North Thomas Avenue.
The leased EC135 experienced mechanical problems and was in for maintenance..
The affected helicopter has no history of problems, and has current certification. The cause of the incident has not yet been determined or released.
Medical Evacuation Flight Crashes in Somerville
A Hospital Wing Memphis Eurocopter AS 350B3 Astar en route from Memphis to Bolivar Tn crashed into a wooded area while en route to pick up a little girl at around 6:20 a.m.. No one aboard survived. The chopper went down near Fayette Academy just outside Somerville.
Pilot Charles Smith, pediatric flight nurse Carrie Barlow and pediatric flight respiratory therapist Denise Adams died in the crash. The nurse and therapist worked with Le Bonheur.
An NTSB investigator has been mobilized and is headed to the crash scene. The investigator will review the crash site, interview witnesses, review facts, atc and radar data, collect all information, and hold a news briefing this evening. The final report will take as much as 18 months.
The staff of Le Bonheur is mourning the loss of their pedi flight team.
Semi Hits Chopper
An unmanned CEMIG Helibras HB-350B Esquilo (Eurocopter Ecureuil) in Celso Buelo Brazil was parked with its pilot nearby when the helicopter was struck by an articulated semi that was rolling on its own. The truck driver had forgotten to apply the brakes.
The helicopter sustained damage in the horizontal stabilizer and tail cone.
Both the helicopter and the semi had been parked, and neither had a driver aboard at the time of the collision.
Medical Evacuation Helicopter has Hard Landing in Mississippi
A medical Eurocopter AS350 helicopter from Pioneer Hospital carrying a patient to Baptist Hospital in Jackson made a hard landing in the back yard of Don Forbush–an open field on Ratliff Ferry Road, Madison County around 9:30 pm on Sept 19. The helicopter sustained damage.
Rescue and law enforcement responded to the scene. The pilot was injured, and transported by UMC’s helicopter to the hospital. The patient he was flying was taken by another MedStat helicopter to University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The MedStat pilot who made the hard landing was commended for saving the lives of everyone aboard.
The incident is under investigation by the NTSB and the FAA.
Just crossing the transom now, there were alerts today of a number of helicopter events:
- The fleet of North Sea Super Pumas were reinstated after the Sumburgh crash that killed 4 oil workers:
but the L2 version of the helicopter – the Super Puma model involved in Friday’s crash – will only be allowed to fly on the what has been described as “non passenger revenue operations”
- 1 hurt in helicopter crash in Tonto National Forest when a helicopter leased by APS made a hard landing with six people aboard
- Helicopter crashes for science at NASA Langley
- The Canadian NTSB indicated that the Robinson Helicopter R44 II in July 2012 in Carcross, Yukon occurred because of the pilot’s failure to check winds affecting the landing area. On July 10, 2012, an R44 II operated by Horizon Helicopters Ltd. transported 2 Yukon Government surveyors to bear-bait sites in the Carcross area. The helicopter departed Carcross at 3 p.m. followed the north shore of Tagish Lake and approached the wildlife survey site from the west. At approximately 3:13 p.m., the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency locator transmitter signal from the aircraft. The wreckage was found approximately 5 nautical miles east of Carcross on Nares Mountain. The pilot was fatally injured, one passenger was seriously injured, and another received minor injuries.
Eurocopter Ditches, with Four Fatalities
A CHC operated Eurocopter AS 332L2 Super Puma Mk2 with 18 aboard had taken off from the Borgsten Dolphin rig en route to Sumburgh Airport and suffered a “catastrophic loss of power” before it ditched 2 nm W off Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, Scotland.
Fourteen survivors were recovered. Four fatalities were reported: Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness, and George Allison, 57, from Winchester. Three of the four bodies have been recovered.
The survivors were hospitalized at Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick. Nine were detained at the hospital for exposure.
Rescue services included a ferry, a cargo ship, lifeboat crews from Lerwick and Aith, coastguard helicopters, RAF Lossiemouth and two Bond rescue helicopters.
CHC works for Total transporting rig workers.
The cause of the crash has not been determined. Pumas have been grounded due to safety concerns.
Mir Aero Eurocopter Crashes in Romania, 5 of 6 are Fatalities
On July 29. 2013, a Mir Aero Eurocopter EC 130 (AS 350 B4) with 6 aboard was en route.
It crashed in Taureni Lake, Mures County, Romania. Four bodies were found initially; the fifth, Sorin Terbea was found by divers. Sorin Terbea is a wealthy businessman. The woman, Terbea’s company’s marketing director who was engaged to Terbea was rescued by witnesses at the lake. She is reported to be the only survivor. Two German citizens and their child were also aboard.
The Romanian Police forensic team was sent to Mures to coordinate investigation launched after the tragedy.
Helicopter Chops Passengers on Fishing Expedition
On July 21, 2013, a Eurocopter crashed in Murmansk in the Kola Peninsula.
Two British tourists who were traveling for a salmon fishing trip on the River Rynda and a Russian translator had just exited the helicopter. It was lifting off when it crash landed, striking them by the rotors when the helicopter attempted to lift off and tilted on its side, 150 kilometers from Murmansk to the tourist camp on the river Rynda.
Four people were injured but only the pilot has survived.
The Britons, Diamond Rupert and Mark Robinson were born in 1944, and the translator Alexander Tushnikov was born in 1960.
Emergency services flew in from the Emergencies Ministry.
Four Dead in Swiss Helicopter Group Crash in Alps
On July 1, 2013 at 9: 45, a Swiss Helicopter Group Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil with four people aboard crashed in the Swiss Alps near Kröntenhütte, Uri.
The pilot, two flight assistants and a technician were killed. The victims were between 25 and 60 years old and the helicopter was one year old.
The helicopter had started off at 7 in Erstfeld, flew to Andermatt, then to Leutschachhütte. The pilot was dropping off someone in Kröntenhütte but instead crashed in a cloud of smoke.
Police, fire and the air rescue service responded. Currently, there is no explanation for the crash.
An investigation of Swiss Helicopter Group is now underway.
Medical Helicopter Emergency Landing Takes out Windshield
photographer Jerome Mervelet
A medical evacuation helicopter, ADAC-Luftrettung Eurocopter EC 135 P2 was making a street landing in Germany when it struck a car.
The tail of the chopper struck an Opel Corsa’s window. The car was parked in a parking lot at the Ochsenfurt train station.
No people were injured.
The pilot and the on board doctor noticed the damaged windshield after landing. Damage to the vehicle is estimated at 2000 euros.
There appears to be insignificant damage to the helicopter but it is slated for inspection of the right stabilizing fin on the tail boom.
Rio Helicopter Crash
On May 8, 2013, a Helisul Táxi Aéreo Ltda-owned Helibras HB-350B Esquilo (Eurocopter Ecureuil) helicopter landing at a Rio de Janeiro heliport landed in the trees instead of on the landing area.
Aboard were the pilot and five tourists,a couple of miners, and two tourists from the United States. No one was injured though witnesses saw the pilot had hurt his hand. One of the passengers filed an injury complaint.
A gust of wind apparently blew the pilot off track. The company is calling the incident a forced landing.
By the time the fire department and Experts of the Institute of Criminology Carlos Eboli (ICCE) arrived, the passengers had already left. The Regional Investigation and Prevention of Accidents (Seripa) is also investigating.
Antonio Souza Moreira, father of one of the passengers, Álvaro Felipe, said his son had been injured on the shin. The helicopter ride had been a birthday present. Antonio confirmed that the pilot lost control at a gust of wind. There was smoke but no fire; and there was a fire extinguisher available. But the firefighters took an hour to arrive.
Bad Day for Helicopters
Didn’t mention this all together yesterday but it was a bad day (or two) for helicopters.
On Mar 19
- Bristow Academy Inc Schweitzer 269C-1 training flight; chopper lost power and crash-landed Highway US-1 near Titusville, FL. Two aboard, no injuries
On Mar 21
- Bundespolizei Aérospatiale AS 332L1 Super Puma was in a training exercise in snowy conditions at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. The Super Puma struck the EC-155 while landing, and fell. THe EC-155 pilot died on the scene, and three were injured.
- Bundespolizei Eurocopter EC 155B-1 (AS 365N4) (see above incident at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium)
Helicopter Crashes in Slovakia’s Vah River
On March 3, 2013, at 17:13 Eurocopter EC-120 Colibri crashed in Horný ?epe?, Sere? district in Slovakia after hitting a cable that was stretched between trees.
The helicopter landed in the Váh river.
Three wounded individuals were transported to University Hospital in Trnava where they were treated for hypothermia, head injuries, lacerations and abrasions.
The thirteen year old son of the pilot was trapped in the helicopter and died at the scene.
The injured parties include a twenty-one year old woman and a 42 year old man. They are in stable condition. The pilot is 40 years old. He is being investigated. Alcohol may have been a factor.
Part of the helicopter was retrieved by firemen initially, and the rest recovered later and loaded on to an armed forces flatbed, with the assistance of divers and military technology.
All of those aboard were Slovakian.
Eaglemed Crash in Oklahoma City
On Feb 22, 2013 at 5:45 a.m., an EagleMed LLC Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil while en route from Baptist hospital to home base when the chopper crashed between St. Ann’s Nursing Home and St. Ann’s Retirement Center in Watonga. On impact, there was an explosion, and then a second explosion. Pilot Mark Montgomery and nurse Chris Denning were killed. Medic Billy Wynne was injured. Montgomery, Denning and Wynne were aboard. Passing nurses pulled the medic from the helicopter.
One injured person was taken to OU Medical Center.
The NTSB is investigating.