Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Sikorsky</span>

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Birdstrike Cause of USAF Crash

A bird strike on the HH-60G Pave Hawk at 110ft at 126mph caused the crash of a helicopter on a moonlight training mission on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve, killing staff Sgt Afton Ponce, Capt Christopher Stover, Technical Sgt Dale Matthews and Capt Sean Ruane.

The crew was confirmed dead at the scene. The investigation has begun, and there is a fund opened for them.

A number of twelve pound geese struck the helicopter after the flock flew up alarmed by the noise.

The USAF chopper was flying out of Lakenheath in Suffolk.

Sikorsky Down off Norfolk, Va Beach

A US Navy Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon crashed off a Norfolk Virginia beach, killing one of five aboard. The helicopter was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen.

Three were injured and hospitalized at at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. A rescue team is searching for one crewman who is still missing.

USAF Helicopter Crash in the UK

The USAF Pavehawk Sikorsky HH-60G that crashed on January 7 2013 at about 19:00 GMT on a training flight in Marshland near Cley-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk in the UK during training exercises transporting munitions, killed the crew of four aboard. The helicopter impacted in a nature reserve.

A second helicopter flew in as a rescue unit, but there were no survivors. Local witnesses heard and saw the helicopter flying low. It was initially believed the helicopter had ditched in the North Sea. No one on the ground was injured.

The names of the victims have been released: Capt Christopher S. Stover, Capt Sean M. Ruane, Technical Sergeant Dale E. Mathews and Staff Sergeant Afton M. Ponce. The commander of their unit said that Captains Stover and Ruane were pilots, while Tech. Sgt. Mathews and SSgt Ponce were acting as special mission aviators and “The Liberty Wing feels as though it has lost members of its family, and we stand by to support one another and these airmen’s families during this difficult time.”

An investigation is underway.

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Sikorsky Crash off Bintulu Coast

On December 12, 2013 at 7L45 a.m., a MHS Aviation Sikorsky S-76C #9M-STE had eight aboard when the flight encountered bad weather. They were flying to identify oil and gas exploration sites when weather forced them to ditch in the sea 159 kilometers off the coast of Bintulu.

The helicopter was leased from MHS Aviation by Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas.

The two pilots and six oil workers aboard were rescued by a passing ship. Apparently there were no fatalities, and no specific reports of injury. They were hospitalized in Miri.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is investigating.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has not released whether or not the helicopter was recovered from the ocean.

Sikorsky Hits Gangnam High Rise

On Nov 16, 2013, a helicopter took off from Soeul Gimpo Airport en route to Jamsil-Dong to pick up LG employees. The LG Electronics Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopter flew into a high rise in Seoul.

Two pilots aboard the helicopter died after their propellor struck the 30 story high rise. No one in the building sustained injury.

Captain Park In-kyu and co-pilot Koh Jong-jin, were employed by LG. The weather conditions at the were foggy, with limited visibility.

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Navy Helicopter Crashes in Red Sea

A United States Navy Sikorsky MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 crashed in the Red Sea on Sunday. Three of the five aboard are recuperating. Two are missing and presumed dead. The crew is from Naval Air Station North Island. (San Diego)

The USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is supporting the rescue efforts. The crash is reported as an attempted landing on the deck.

The names of the two lost at sea have not been released. All of the crew wore floatation devices and safety gear-

See News Video Below

Sikorsky Helicopter Crashes in Louisiana, 3 fatalities

On March 15, 2013, an Era Helicopters LLC Sikorsky S-76A with three board crashed just before noon in Cameron Parish Louisiana in a remote area of swampy/muddy pastureland with only four-wheeler access.

The helicopter had taken off from Lake Charles Regional Airport. Emergency services responded to the scene, but access was limited to 4 wheel vehicles.

The helicopter was on a maintenance test flight with the pilot and two mechanics aboard. The fatalities were listed as the pilot, William R. Croucher, 69, of California; and two mechanics: Michael Lee Tyree, 55, of Iowa, La., and Timothy Lloyd Goehring, 41, of Sulphur, La.

Era helicopters normally provides transport to oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, but this flight was reported as a maintenance flight.

THe FAA and the NTSB are investigating.

Era Helicopter’s statement:
“We deeply regret this unfortunate accident and we will use all of our resources to support the families of those involved. Our review will continue in concert with the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has jurisdiction over this matter”

KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

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Final Report on Sikorsky Incident

When a Bristow S-76 Helicopter with eight passengers and two crew fishtailed as it was flying from from Humberside Airport to a gas platform in the North Sea, the helicopter made a precautionary landing. The crew smelled smoke in the cockpit at the time.

The investigation concluded that an electrical short had occurred in a wiring loom.

The incident occurred on Sept 26, 2012.

The report is below:

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Turkish Chopper Crashes in Storm on Herekol mountain

What: Turkish Sikorsky S-70
Where: Herekol mountain, Turkey
When: Nov 10, 2012
Who: 17 aboard 17 fatalities
Why: Three crew members and 14 police special forces were aboard the Turkish Sikorsky S-70 when it crashed in poor weather conditions.

The weather was described as heavy fog and rain.

The official statement by Siirt province governor Ahmet Aydin was that the “… helicopter hit a hill due to unfavourable weather conditions caused by a thick fog and heavy rains.”

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€10,000 Awarded for Child Trauma

Two year old Emma Reddan witnessed a Sikorsky S76 piloted by Bill Curry crashing in the Neptune Hotel car lot. The chopper’s rotor blade struck a lamp post, resulting in the crash.

Emma Reddan suffered from separation anxiety disorder.

In Civil court, Judge Matthew Deery approved a €10,000 settlement for Emma Reddan from Curry and GP Helicopter Services Ltd, of Woodstown Dale, Knocklyon, Dublin, and Barrack Construction Limited, Thomastown, Caragh, Naas, Co Kildare.

Helicusco Victims Recovered, Koreans Returning Home Sunday

clip from youtube
What: HeliCusco Sikorsky S-58ET en route from Mazuco to Cusco
Where: Hualla Hualla Peru
When: June 6 2012
Who: 14 aboard
Why: The helicopter carrying two Peruvian crew members and 12 passengers (mostly Korean) is confirmed to have crashed in Hualla Hualla in the Cusco region in southern Peru on Mama Rosa mountain. The flight had gone missing on June 6 in a high Andes region of cloudy mountaintops. Difficulty retrieving the remains of eight Koreans, a Dutchman, a Swede, a Czech and three Peruvians, is due to the crash elevation of nearly 5,000 meters (16,393 feet). Between the elevation, weather and terrain, an air approach is impossible, and recovery crews had to approach by land. The consuls of Korea and Austria were in Cuzco to find out about the search for their fallen countrymen.

The recovery operation was suspended Saturday afternoon because of bad weather.

In addition to the police patrol, the parties of the High Mountain Unit included at least eight agents, a team of medical examiners and assistant prosecutors.

One of the videos below includes footage of locals hand carrying the remains down the mountain.

The eight Koreans who lost their lives in the accident will be returned to Korea on Sunday.

Read More: HeliCusco Sikorsky Missing in Andes, 14 aboard

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HeliCusco Sikorsky Missing in Andes, 14 aboard

What: HeliCusco Sikorsky S-58ET en route from Mazuco to Cusco
Where: Hualla Hualla Peru
When: June 6 2012
Who: 14 aboard
Why: Two Peruvian crew members and 12 passengers (mostly Korean) went missing in a high Andes region of cloudy mountaintops in Hualla Hualla. The tourists included two Austrians and the rest were South Koreans. The passenger list was published:

Viajaban Anto Ruiz
Bustapson Benge Anderz
Thois Young Hwan
Dusek Tomas
Kin Hoy Jun
Wuo Sang Bae
Kin Byungdal
Yoo Bongdar
Kupper Erick
Jeon Hyo Geon
Leen Hyung Suk
Rim Hee Wook
Alfredo Soberón (Pilot)
Luis Echegoyen (Copilot)

With snow at 4700 meters, search was impeded but was restarted friday morning. Rescue services are searching for the wreckage. The beacon has not been located. Searchers are still hoping the crew made a successful emergency landing.

Bangalore Helicopter Dodges Wires and Crowded City to Land on Rooftop

What: HAL Rotary Wing Academy Schweizer 269C (300C)
Where: Byapanahalli area, northeast Bangalore, India
When: April 12, 2012, 4:30 pm
Who: 2 aboard, 0 fatalities
Why: After a two hour ten minute flight, the helicopter on a training flight developed engine failure, dodged high-tension wires and other buildings to land on a Bangalore roof.

The Schweizer 269C is a light four year old plane used for civilian training.

The helicopter was damaged during the emergency landing, rolling over on its side on the rooftop of Maitri Apartments in the Byapanahalli area in North East Bangalore and leaking some of the 20 litres of fuel it carried. The rotors were blown off on impact with the parapet. Retired Air Commodore Roj Assey and trainee Digvijay Singh survived the emergency landing uninjured.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is investigating.

Jury Awards 2008 Helicopter Crash Victims, GE Loses $177 million Judgment

What: GE Engines in Sikorsky S-61N helicopter
Where: Portland Courtroom
When: Aug. 5, 2008 crash, March 28, 2012 Jury decision
Who: 9 crash fatalities
Why: The Aug. 5, 2008 crash occurred after a loss of power in the No. 2 engine shortly after takeoff from a nearly 6,000-foot-high mountaintop in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Co-pilot William Coultas of Cave Junction, his wife, Chris, and the widow of pilot Roark Schwanenberg, 54, of Lostine were awarded $37 million and his wife $4.3 million by the jury, while the estate of Schwanenberg was awarded $28.4 million, according to The Associated Press. The jury placed 57 percent of the blame on GE, but also found the helicopter’s owner and its manufacturer partially at fault. Coultas is the only surviving crewman.

Fatalities include David Steele, 19, Ashland; Shawn Blazer, 30, Medford; Scott Charlson, 25, Phoenix; Matthew Hammer, 23, Grants Pass; Edrik Gomez, 19, Ashland; Bryan Rich, 29, Medford; and Steven “Caleb” Renno, 21, Cave Junction; U.S. Forest Service check pilot Jim Ramage, 63, of Redding, Calif.. Richard Schroeder Jr., Jonathan Frohreich and Michael Brown survived with injuries.

The case hinged on a problem with the engine’s fuel control valve. Evidence included a GE internal email from Aug. 6, 2008 discussing the size of the fuel filter, noting that the military version removes much smaller particles than the commercial version.

Official NTSB Report:
On August 5, 2008, about 1941 Pacific daylight time, a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter, N612AZ, impacted trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Helispot 44 (H-44), located at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in mountainous terrain near Weaverville, California. The pilot-in-command, the safety crewmember, and seven firefighters were fatally injured; the copilot and three firefighters were seriously injured. Impact forces and a postcrash fire destroyed the helicopter, which was being operated by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as a public flight to transport firefighters from H-44 to another helispot. The USFS had contracted with Carson Helicopters, Inc. (CHI) of Grants Pass, Oregon, for the services of the helicopter, which was registered to CHI and leased to Carson Helicopter Services, Inc. of Grants Pass. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company visual flight rules flight plan had been filed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The following actions by Carson Helicopters: 1) the intentional understatement of the helicopter’s empty weight, 2) the alteration of the power available chart to exaggerate the helicopter’s lift capability, and 3) the practice of using unapproved above-minimum specification torque in performance calculations that, collectively, resulted in the pilots relying on performance calculations that significantly overestimated the helicopter’s load-carrying capacity and did not provide an adequate performance margin for a successful takeoff; and insufficient oversight by the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Contributing to the accident was the failure of the flight crewmembers to address the fact that the helicopter had approached its maximum performance capability on their two prior departures from the accident site because they were accustomed to operating at the limit of the helicopter’s performance.

Contributing to the fatalities were the immediate, intense fire that resulted from the spillage of fuel upon impact from the fuel tanks that were not crash resistant, the separation from the floor of the cabin seats that were not crash resistant, and the use of an inappropriate release mechanism on the cabin seat restraints.

Turkish Helicopter Crashes Killing a Dozen Military, Plus Civilians on the ground

What: Turkish Army Sikorsky S-70A-28 (CH-60)
Where: Bagrami district, Kabul
When: Mar 16, 2012, 10:25 a.m.
Who: 10 fatalities aboard, 2 on the ground
Why: The Turkish (Turk Kara Ordusu Havaciligi) helicopter crashed into a house in Bagrami District. A dozen Turkish troopers aboard the helicopter were killed. The number reported as being inside the house varies from 2 (children) to a total of eight residents. The Herald Sun reported five bodies. One report says a female casualty may have been aboard the helicopter.

The crash is attributed to a malfunction, and not to any military action.

Grisly descriptions of the scene of the crash indicate the bodies of the military victims were decimated into parts. The bodies of two girls from but not in the multi-story brick house have been recovered. The house is described as “scorched” “a smoking hole” and with “several large holes.” A woman and a Turkish boy were injured.

Update on El Segundo Helicopter Crash

What: Heliflite Inc/Aris Helicopter Sikorsky S-58ET
Where: El Segundo
When: March 13, 2011. 9:30 am
Who: pilot
Why: Earlier in March we talked about the Sikorsky that crashed while lifting an ac unit from atop the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems warehouse in El Segundo. The injured pilot survived though he had to be extracted from the helicopter. Anthony Savedra, an employee of Excel Mechanical, pulled the pilot to safety. The helicopter capacity is 5000 pounds, and the unit that was being removed from the building was under 4500 lbs, but the helicopter apparently suffered an engine failure (the pilot said the engine when “offline”) while the operation was in progress. A witness in the video below said the helicopter made a popping noise on impact, and there was white smoke; then a few moments later, there was an explosion, and black smoke. The pilot escaped burn injuries.

The crash started a fire on two floors of the warehouse but no one was injured in the fire, because the accident occurred on a Sunday. Seventy firefighters put out the blaze within forty minutes.


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Newfoundland Cougar 491 Crash: Unanswered

Families and the only survivor of the 2009 Sikorsky crash have petitioned Transport Minister Chuck Stahl to take action. Transport Canada did not enforce certification requirements, leading to sixteen factors that in their turn lead to the crash. Two of three titanium studs broke off the oil filter assembly.

The helicopter’s design is to be able to continue flying for thirty minutes after the gearbox runs dry.

The last conversations between air traffic controllers and the Sikorsky’s pilots, Capt. Matt Davis, 34, of St. John’s, and First Officer Tim Lanouette, 48, Comox, B.C., were released by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The news from the day of the tragic accident.

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Newfoundland Sikorsky Crash: Final

Pictured: Couger-owned Sikorsky S-61N Helicopter
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Phil Earle
On March 12, 2009, about 0926 ADT, Atlantic Daylight Time, a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter, Canadian registry C-GZCH, operated by Cougar Helicopters, impacted the waters of the North Atlantic about 28 miles east of Cape Spear near St. John’s, Newfoundland. There were two pilots, Pilot Matthew William Thomas Davis, 34, of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and First Officer Tim Lanouette, 48, of Comox, British Columbia, both of whomdied in the accident, and 16 passengers on board the helicopter. One passenger, Robert Decker, survived with serious injuries, but the other occupants were fatally injured. The helicopter was en route from St. John’s International Airport (CYYT) to an offshore oil platform in the Hibernia oil field. The pilot made a MAYDAY call due to a mechanical difficulty, and was returning to St. John’s at the time of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the sea state had 3 – 5 meter swells. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed.

The NTSB has recommended that any gearbox losing oil pressure should have the capacity to run dry for 30 minutes before failure. In the case of Flight 491, the elapsed time between the warning light and the ditching of the aircraft in the sea was 11 minutes. Two of the three main gearbox mounting studs were broken. When they broke, the helicopter lost oil rapidly and the gears began to overheat.

On March 23, 2009, Sikorsky released a bulletin that most of the world’s S-92TM helicopter fleet already had complied with the company notice to retrofit the aircraft’s gearbox oil bowl with steel mounting studs.

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Cougar Flight 491 Suit Settles

Sikorsky, Keystone Helicopters and their parent company, United Technologies Corp. have settled in court with the the families of passengers who died on March 12, 2009. In court last July plaintiffs “voluntarily discontinued” the lawsuit to begin negotiations on a possible settlement. That settlement has been resolved, but the details are not public.

Because pilots believed the Sikorsky met U.S. FAA regulations that the aircraft could operate for 30 minutes after losing oil, they flew toward the shore rather than landing on the water.

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18 Survive Ditched Helicopter

Pictured: A Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Sikorsky S-92A Helibus
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Ken Iwelumo

What: helicopter en route to SeaBird Exploration’s seismic vessel Kondor Explorer
Where: Agbami field offshore Nigeria
When: Dec 11, 2009
Who: 18 on board (16 crew, 2 pilots)
Why: After the helicopter made a controlled “landing” and ditched into the sea, all 18 crew members aboard were rescued.

No word has been released about why the helicopter ditched.

The Agbami seismic project is run by Chevron.

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Sikorsky Emergency Landing

Pictured: A Cougar-Helicopter/Sikorsky-S-92A
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Michael Durning

What: Cougar Sikorsky S-92 helicopter
Where: Halifax airport
When: Sept 23
Who: 17 people on board
Why: Chopper experienced engine failure in one of its engines while returning from an offshore rig. The helicopter landed safely and no one was injured.

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Sikorsky S-92A Main Gearbox (MGB) Malfunctions.

Sikorsky S-92A Main Gearbox (MGB) Malfunctions.

Ref. Publications:
Sikorsky Safety Advisory SSA-S92-08-006 dated 26 September Sikorsky Safety Advisory SSA-S92-08-006 dated 26 September 2008; and Sikorsky CCS-92-AOL-09-0008 dated 14 March 2009.


The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation published SSA-S92-08-006 to The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation published SSA-S92-08-006 to  inform owners and operators of impending Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) changes, prompted by service difficulties with the S-92A MGB lubrication system. More recently, CCS-92-AOL-09-0008 was published to inform owners and operators about a recent accident with an S-92A helicopter. The latest advisory document contains reminders of existing Sikorsky service publications that recommend specific action(s) that may or may not be related to the root cause(s) of the latest accident. CCS-92-AOL-09-0008 also specifies that ‘compliance’ with Sikorsky Safety Advisories is ‘essential’.

After reviewing the information and pending the investigation, EASA supports the recommendations contained in CCS-92-AOL-09-0008, with the exception of SSA-S92-08-006. This advisory document refers to RFM changes that have not yet been approved by the FAA. In fact, the SSA specifies the ‘corrective action’ as “Ensure all flight crews become familiar with the RFM changes when received”. This SIB is published to ensure that all owners and operators of affected rotorcraft, registered in European Union Member States or associated countries, are aware that the procedures specified in SSA-S92-08-006 have not been approved by FAA or EASA. The relevant emergency procedures in the approved RFM must be observed.


Sikorsky S-92A helicopters, all serial numbers.

For further information contact the Airworthiness Directives, Safety For further information contact the Airworthiness Directives, Safety Management & Research Section, Certification Directorate, EASA. E-mail: ADs@easa.europa.eu. Copies of the referenced advisory documents and any other related Sikorsky service publications may be obtained upon request from Sikorsky Commercial Product Support, or call the Customer Service Engineering Desk, telephone: +1 203-416-4299, or E-mail: sikorskywcs@sikorsky.com.


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18 Dead or Missing in Newfoundland Helicopter Crash

Pictured: Couger-owned Sikorsky S-61N Helicopter
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Phil Earle

What: Cougar Helicopter’ Sikorsky Helibus (twin-turboshaft) en route to offshore Hibernia oil field to bring down two passengers and 14 were going to the Sea Rose oil platform
Where: off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic.
When: Thursday morning March 12
Who: 18 people aboard
Why: At 9:15 a.m., the Sikorsky pilot sent an SOS to Gander Newfoundland air traffic controllers. After the mayday, the helicopter ditched in the Atlantic. Two people were sighted but only one was recovered. Robert Decker, has been transported to St. John’s hospital. Searchers received signals from survival suits equipped with water-activiated locator beacons and integrated life vests.

The search has been hampered by a gale force warning. Visibility is 10 nautical miles.

Couger, Husky Energy and ExxonMobile have made statements to the press. The Hibernia oil platform is owned by ExxonMobil Canada, Chevron Canada Resources, Petro-Canada, Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation, Murphy Oil and StatoilHydro Canada Ltd.

The SeaRose oil platform in the White Rose oil and gas field is operated by Husky Energy and Petro-Canada.

Flight Aware

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Federal Officials Investigating Louisiana Crash

What: Sikorsky S-76C helicopter, operated by PHI Inc
Where: Louisiana marshland – Bayou Penchant area about 100 miles from New Orleans in southwestern Terrebonne Parish
When: Sunday Jan. 4, 2009
Who: eight fatalities, one survivor. The helicoptor was carrying two pilots and seven passengers The dead were identified as Allen Boudreaux, of Ama, La.; Andrew Moricio and Ezequiel Cantu of Morgan City, La.; Randy Tarpley of Jonesville, La.; Jorey A. Rivero, of Bridge City, La.; Charles W. Nelson of Pensacola, Fla.; Thomas E. Ballenger of Eufaula, Ala. and Vyarl W. Martin of Hurst, Texas. The injured survivor is Steven Yeltin was medevacted; he is listed as being in critical condition and is awaiting to be transferred to Oschner Medical Center from the Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma. Mike Moreno, CEO of the Moreno Group along with Dynamic Industries, employed five of the victims.
Why: The helicopter is believed to have crashed about seven minutes after it took off at 3 p.m, A distress signal was received just after 3. The NTSB investigation is well underway and the black box has already been recovered.

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