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2019/01 eng

Report on air accident in Port of Bergen, Hordaland county, Norway, 10 May 2017 involving Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B3, G-HKCN

10 May 2017 a British registered helicopter of the type Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B3 with three persons on board was about to land on the helideck on a yacht, when the helicopter lost control and crashed into the sea. The helicopter was equipped with flotation gear and floated upside down in the sea. One person was seriously injured and two persons got minor injuries. The investigation revealed a lack of follow-up of the described routines for preparation for helicopter operations on board the yacht. Among other things, the helideck was not adequately prepared.

A tarpaulin covering a fuel tank on the helideck was not adequately secured. The helicopter established hover over the helideck, and stood in low hover over the deck for approx. 15 seconds. During these seconds, the tarpaulin loosened due to the downdraft from the main rotor. The helicopter was flown by a pilot who had minimal experience on the helicopter type. The person had not received any type rating in his pilot's license yet, since the skill test had occurred the day before the accident. When the tarpaulin came loose, the commander, who was a flight instructor, tried to manoeuvre the helicopter away from the tarpaulin. He was not able to do so since this happened very quickly. The damage sustained by the main rotor made the helicopter uncontrollable.

No safety recommendation is issued in connection with this investigation.

Facts

Location Port of Bergen, Norway
Occurrence date 10.05.2017
ICAO Location indicator ENBR
Aircraft Airbus Helicopter AS 350 B3 Ecureuil
Operator HQ Aviation Ltd, UK
Registration G-HKCN
Meteorological conditions VMC
County Hordaland
Type of occurrence Accident
Type of operation Commercial, other
Category of operation Light, helicopter (<= 2 250kg)
Aircraft category Helicopter, Single-engine, Turboprop/turboshaft
FIR/AOR ENSV (Stavanger ATCC)

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