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Aerial Ambulance Loses Engine Power During Approach in Dense Fog 6 pages. [PDF 80K]
After diverting a flight because of low fuel, the pilot was told that visibility was approximately five meters (16 feet) at the highway intersection where he attempted to land a Bell LongRanger III. The engine stopped producing power during the approach, and the helicopter struck terrain.
Abrupt Maneuver and Mast Bumping Cited in Loss-of-control Accident 4 pages. [PDF 42K]
Witnesses said that the Fairchild Hiller FH-1100 helicopter was being flown at low altitude when the main rotor separated and a rotor blade struck the cabin.
In each of the accidents, the helicopter was either destroyed or damaged substantially. Fifteen accidents resulted in at least one fatality; nine other accidents resulted in serious injuries.
Unsecured Fasteners in Tail-rotor System Faulted for Bell UH-1H Loss of Control 6 pages. [PDF 154K]
New Zealand investigators said that the failure to install split pins during maintenance likely caused nuts and bolts in a tail-rotor-blade pitch-control mechanism to become loose, leading to the pilot’s loss of control of the ex-military helicopter during approach and landing.
(Editor’s note: The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission issued a revised report in 2006, concluding that a bent tail-rotor blade pitch link caused the loss of control. For further information, see ASW, 8/06, p. 9).
Boost Pump Failure Starves Bell 214B Engine of Fuel 6 pages. [PDF 119K]
Canadian investigators said that the aircraft flight manual did not adequately describe the potential consequences of a boost pump failure and that the pilot’s lack of recurrent training might have affected his ability to conduct an autorotation.
The flight crew was conducting a go-around in dark-night conditions and did not observe the high rate of descent that followed a large power reduction during the turn to final approach. The crew’s application of collective to reduce the sink rate came too late to prevent the helicopter from striking the water.