In­struc­tor ‘failed to re­gain con­trol’ of heli­copter

PI­LOT DIED AFTER AIR­BUS AS350 CAME DOWN AT WY­COMBE AIR PARK

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By NEIL LANCE­FIELD The scene of the crash on May 5 2017

A HELI­COPTER pi­lot died fol­low­ing a crash in which his in­struc­tor failed to re­gain con­trol of the air­craft after an aborted land­ing, an ac­ci­dent re­port has found.

They were among three men on­board the Air­bus AS350 heli­copter when it came down at Wy­combe Air Park, near High Wy­combe, on May 5 last year.

They were all se­ri­ously in­jured in the crash, with one dy­ing “some weeks later from in­juries sus­tained in the ac­ci­dent”, ac­cord­ing to the Air Ac­ci­dents In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (AAIB).

The crash hap­pened dur­ing a train­ing flight which sim­u­lated a hy­draulic sys­tem fail­ure.

As the vic­tim ini­tially at­tempted to land, the in­struc­tor be­came con­cerned and took con­trol to abort the ma­noeu­vre. When the vic­tim made a sec­ond at­tempt to land, the in­struc­tor again took con­trol late in the ap­proach. As he turned the heli­copter left it rolled 90 de­grees, de­scended rapidly and crashed, com­ing to a rest on its left side. The AAIB stated: “No tech­ni­cal is­sues were iden­ti­fied and a de­fin­i­tive rea­son why the in­struc­tor was un­able to roll the heli­copter back to a level alti­tude could not be de­ter­mined.” None of the men in­volved were named in the re­port. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that clearer in­struc­tions in the AS350 flight man­ual for hy­draulics-off flights “would help pre­vent sim­i­lar ac­ci­dents in fu­ture”. Air­bus re­sponded to the crash by amending the man­ual, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of a warn­ing not to con­duct low-speed ma­noeu­vres with­out hy­draulics “due to the danger of loss of con­trol”.

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