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

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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.

Port of Bergen, Norway
Occurrence date
ICAO Location indicator
Airbus Helicopter AS 350 B3 Ecureuil
HQ Aviation Ltd, UK
Meteorological conditions
Type of occurrence
Type of operation
Commercial, other
Category of operation
Light, helicopter (<= 2 250kg)
Aircraft category
Helicopter, Single-engine, Turboprop/turboshaft
ENSV (Stavanger ATCC)
Skriv ut
Reports same aircraft model
Reports same category of operation