Report on air accident at Sollihøgda in Buskerud, Norway 14 January 2014 with Airbus Helicopters EC 135 P2+, LN-OOI operated by Norsk Luftambulanse AS

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Description

The air ambulance helicopter was on a mission to a road accident near Sollihøgda. It hit a power line on final approach and fell down from about 80 ft. Two crew members were fatally injured. The third was seriously injured. The helicopter was destroyed.

Aviation obstacles constitute a substantial risk factor during low altitude operations. The power line was not physically marked and was unusually difficult to detect from the air. The investigation has revealed weaknesses in the emergency communications network, obstacle data base and company procedures.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation SL No. 2015/04T

The accident with Norsk Luftambulanse AS (Norwegian Air Ambulance) on 14 January 2014 occurred when the helicopter was in the process of landing at a road emergency lay-by and hit a power line that crossed the natural approach route. Increased use of predefined landing sites, rather than landing at unknown sites in the terrain, could contribute to increased safety. Properly adapted emergency lay-bys and rest areas along the roads can become suitable predefined landing sites.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway is of the opinion that emergency lay-bys and picnic areas, insofar as possible, should be designed so they can also serve as safe landing sites for helicopters, and therefore recommends that the Norwegian Public Roads Administration incorporate assessment of obstacles and other relevant factors in the standard that applies for design of such places.

Safety recommendation SL No. 2015/05T

The current national aviation obstacle database (NRL) is incomplete and not easily compatible with GPS-based warning systems. The Accident Investigation Board Norway believes that a campaign to develop the obstacle database could prevent collisions and thus provide safety benefits for air ambulances as well as other aircraft operators. In order for such a campaign to succeed, multiple players from different ministries must contribute.

Based on the above, the Accident Investigation Board Norway therefore recommends that the Ministry of Transport and Communications take responsibility for coordinating the work on further developing the current obstacle database with the aim of utilising the safety benefit that can be gained from modern GPS-based warning systems.

Safety redommendation SL No. 2015/06T

Aviation obstacles are a substantial risk factor when landing at unknown sites. The Accident Investigation Board Norway believes it has identified a potential for improvement in Norsk Luftambulanse AS’ safety management in this area. This includeselements such as standardisation, suitability and use of obstacle warning on moving maps, as well as the best practice for work sharing between crew members.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that Norsk Luftambulanse AS revitalise its work on identifying and handling risks associated with landing at unknown landing sites.

Location
Near Sollihøgda, Buskerud, Norway
Occurrence date
14.01.2014
Aircraft
Eurocopter øvrige
Registration
LN-OOI
Meteorological conditions
VMC
County
Buskerud
Type of occurrence
Accident
Type of operation
SAR/ambulance
Category of operation
Light, helicopter (<= 2 250kg)
Aircraft category
Helicopter, Multi-engine, Turboprop/turboshaft
FIR/AOR
ENOS (Oslo ATCC)
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Report on air accident at Sollihøgda in Buskerud, Norway 14 January 2014 with Airbus Helicopters EC 135 P2+, LN-OOI operated by Norsk Luftambulanse AS Download report
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