Accident Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil G-NOEI,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 169408
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Date:Tuesday 8 October 1985
Time:14:57 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Noel Edmunds/Direct Produce Supplies Ltd
Registration: G-NOEI
MSN: 1190
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit, near Towcester, Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit, near Towcester, Northamptonshire
Destination airport:Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit, near Towcester, Northamptonshire
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Crashed during the 1985 British Grand Prix (Formula 1 motor race).
The helicopter pilot and five passengers, who had assembled in the sponsoring company's hospitality suite at the Silverstone Circuit, boarded the helicopter. The take-off weight was 15 kilogrammes less than the maximum permissible, and the centre of gravity was located 9 centimeters aft of the forward limit.
At about 1450 hours the helicopter took off from its parking stand south of the hospitality suite car park. It flew low along runway 24 towards Stowe Corner before following the race circuit back to the north. The helicopter made a steeply banked turn to the right just north of the Club Corner followed by a dive towards Abbey Curve. The aircraft then levelled out and flew in a right hand
turn behind the Grandstand Pits complex. Witnesses next saw the aircraft flying in a south easterly direction parallel to the Club straight. Positioned south east of the Chapel Curve it reversed its course through 180° and headed back towards the centre of the circuit at an estimated height of 50 feet. The aircraft then pitched down as if to make a low pass across the airfield in a north westerly direction.
Passengers inthe helicopter state that they felt that recovery from the dive was unlikely and at the last moment the pilot banked the helicopter steeply to the right. The aircraft struck the ground just inside the Armco safety barrier. The tail rotor tips contacted the top of the barrier and the aircraft crashed through several strands of galvanised wire fencing which had been erected some 2 metres inside the Armco barrier. Evidence from the impact marks indicates that the helicopter was banked at 45 degrees to the right, in a steep nose up attitude and with a ground speed of approximately 125 knots.

Of the six persons on board, there were no fatalities, but the pilot and three of the passengers were seriously injured. The passengers were a mixture of competition prize winners, and corporate sponsors of the Marlboro cigarette company.

G-NOEI was owned by the Radio 1 Disc Jockey Noel Edmunds, but he was not present at the time of the accident. Registration G-NOEI cancelled by the CAA as aircraft "destroyed" 22.01.1987

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

31-Aug-2014 19:40 Aerossurance Added
16-Nov-2014 19:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
16-Nov-2014 19:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
05-Dec-2020 19:22 Anon. Updated [Accident report]
05-Dec-2020 19:28 harro Updated [Nature, Narrative]

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