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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 23826
Last updated: 12 June 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44
Owner/operator:Etoile SNC Loc 17
Registration: F-OIAI
C/n / msn: 0800
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kaala-Gomen, North Province -   New Caledonia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Koumac, New Caledonia
Destination airport:Nouméa Magenta Airport New Caledonia (GEA/NWWM)
Investigating agency: BEA
The pilot, accompanied by two friends, took off from Koumac bound for Noumea. He explained that fifteen minutes after takeoff, at an altitude of seven hundred feet and a speed of one hundred and ten knots, he heard a whistle, which is amplified and then collects the vibrations of the cyclic control and the cell. He began an emergency descent and landed in a field. On landing, the blades of the tail rotor facing a shrub. By inspecting the helicopter on the ground, the pilot finds, in addition to damage blade tail rotor, one of the main rotor blades has a deformation of the upper level.

The surface of the main rotor blades and tail rotor presents significant signs of wear (erosion) at the leading edge, leaving the bare metal ( see photos below ). On one of the main rotor blades, about a meter from its end, the metal coating of the upper surface is perpendicular to the torn edge. On both sides of this tear, the coating is off about twenty inches along the seam with the edge.

The examination of the blade shows that it suffered excessive wear. The lack of material resulting from erosion is likely generated by the friction of the blade in an atmosphere abrasive (eg sand).

When the upper sheet has been refined, a crack parallel to the rope and then developed, progressing to the rear spar leading edge continued to grow along with it. Depression aerodynamic then promoted detachment of the front of the plate then causing a mechanical peeling of the sheet under the effect of relative wind (of about 550 km / h). The onset of delamination was then led to the formation of a small cavity and the edge was observed as a result of a phenomenon of pickup.

The pieces of sheet statements led to a local modification of the lift and drag of the profile generating noise and vibrations perceived by the driver.

The potential of the main rotor blades guaranteed by the manufacturer is 2200 hours. The blade in question amounted to 1 492 hours of use. She had done ninety-six hours flight from the last visit of one hundred hours. At the previous visit of fifty hours, no abnormalities were noted.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
20-Jan-2012 21:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
24-Aug-2016 21:07 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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