Instructor ‘failed to regain control’ of helicopter
PILOT DIED AFTER AIRBUS AS350 CAME DOWN AT WYCOMBE AIR PARK
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”.