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Report on air accident near Skjelbreitjørna in Sandnes municipality, Rogaland county, Norway on 6 April 2020 involving Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3, LN-OFQ, operated by Helitrans AS

The air accident happened in connection with sling load operations for Statnett SF, the system operator of the Norwegian electrical power system. A container was to be moved in connection with the construction work at a power transmission line. Windy conditions with strong gusts made it difficult to keep the helicopter steady. While the container was being lifted, the helicopter was exposed to a wind gust at the worst possible time, as the longline was being pulled taut. The helicopter entered a dynamic rollover situation and crashed. The commander was just lightly injured and the NSIA believes that his use of a helmet prevented any further injury. The helicopter was destroyed.

The forecast wind for the area was basically above the limit of 30 kt for sling load operations set by the helicopter operator Helitrans. There are often large local wind variations. Consequently, the decision to fly or not to fly can be difficult to regulate with absolute regulatory values based on an area forecast. The final decision is therefore left to the commander. 

Published 26.08.2021


Location Sviland, Sandnes municipality, Norway
Occurrence date 06.04.2020
Aircraft Airbus Helicopter AS 350 B3 Ecureuil
Operator Helitrans AS
Registration LN-OFQ
Meteorological conditions VMC
County Rogaland
Type of occurrence Accident
Type of operation Commercial, other
Category of operation Light, helicopter (<= 2 250kg)
Aircraft category Helicopter, Single-engine, Turboprop/turboshaft

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