Accident HAL Dhruv VT-BSH, 19 Oct 2011
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 139315
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Time:09:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic ALH model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
HAL Dhruv
Owner/operator:Border Security Force (BSF), opb Pawan Hans Helicopter
Registration: VT-BSH
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:40 km from Khakra village, Jharkhand -   India
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Birsa Munda Airport (VERC)
Destination airport:Chaibasa
Investigating agency: AAIB India
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Dhruv helicopter departed Ranchi aerodrome for Chaibasa at 03:09 UTC on 19th October 2011. The crew had obtained ATC approval to operate under Special VFR as reported visibility at the aerodrome was 1.5 km. Six minutes after take-off at a distance of 10 NM from Ranchi, the helicopter crashed over hilly terrain. It was destroyed due to the impact and post impact fire, killing all three occupants including two crew members.

Probable Causes and Contributing Factors.
The cause of the accident was loss of Situational Awareness wherein the crew got Spatially Disoriented during a turn for returning to base in response to an emergency warning. In the process, the helicopter went beyond the flight envelope exceeding its structural limits and thereby leading to failure of the rotor system.
The contributory factors to the loss of Situational Awareness were:
1. Spatial Disorientation. In response to the ‘TGB Hot’ Warning, the crew was required to reduce speed to 60 to 70 Kts and land as soon as possible. The Pilot initiated a manual turn without using the AFCS upper modes or reducing speed, in flight conditions below VMC. These actions coupled with inadvertent entry into clouds, led to the helicopter reaching steep nose down attitude with bank angle in excess of 90?.
2. Pilot Training and Experience. The crew had limited type experience and inadequate exposure to IFR operations. They had also not undergone simulator training for IF or handling of critical emergencies. The crew’s knowledge of the helicopter systems was inadequate.
3. Cockpit Resource Management. Crew coordination was found lacking during handling of the emergency. The Co-Pilot did not render any assistance during the critical phase of flight. The AFCS and available avionics onboard were not appropriately utilized for negotiating the marginal weather.
4. Piloting. The large and sudden control applications by the Pilot at the time when the helicopter was beyond its cleared flight envelope led to exceedance of structural limits and subsequent failure of the rotor system.
5. Additional Factors. The situation was compounded by continuous activation of MW during the period.

Sources: (video)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB India
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

19-Oct-2011 03:52 gerard57 Added
19-Oct-2011 14:43 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Oct-2011 14:55 RobertMB Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]
20-Oct-2011 00:24 Anon. Updated [Source]
15-Mar-2013 21:05 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2013 21:14 TB Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]

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