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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 175734
Last updated: 23 September 2021
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Time:21:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BK17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter BK 117C-2
Owner/operator:STAR Flight
Registration: N392TC
MSN: 9286
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Location:Barton Creek, Austin, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Austin, TX
Destination airport:Austin, TX
A helicopter with a pilot, a hoist operator, and a helicopter rescue specialist (rescuer) on board was dispatched to transport an injured person out of an area of rough terrain. Based on the patient's location and the time of the call, a night hoist operation was planned. The helicopter arrived on scene, and the hoist operator lowered the rescuer and equipment from the helicopter. While the rescuer and ground personnel prepared the patient for transport, the pilot and hoist operator looked for a nearby landing zone. Upon hearing radio calls from the rescuer that the patient was ready, the helicopter returned to the patient's location, and the hoist operator lowered the hoist hook. The patient, who was in a Bauman bag, and the rescuer were then lifted from the ground by the hoist. The hoist operator continued to reel in the patient and the rescuer as the helicopter transitioned from a hover to forward flight. When the patient and rescuer were about 10 ft below the helicopter's skids, the rescuer fell about 100 ft to the ground.

The ground personnel who helped the rescuer prepare the patient for transport did not report seeing anything unusual. They said that, during the initial part of the lift, the rescuer and patient went into some tree branches, the helicopter maneuvered away from the tree, and then the rescuer and patient were lifted up towards the helicopter.

Examination of the rescuer's equipment did not reveal any failures or malfunctions that would explain the fall. Additionally, examination of the hoist hook and helicopter equipment did not reveal any abnormities. Also, review of video from a camera located on the hoist did not identify any failures in the equipment nor did it show how the rescuer was initially hooked into the hoist. In the absence of any equipment failure, it is likely that the rescuer was not properly fastened to the hoist.

Probable Cause: The helicopter rescue specialist was not properly attached to the hoist system, which resulted in a fall during a night hoist operation.



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

Revision history:

28-Apr-2015 15:07 Geno Added
28-Apr-2015 17:22 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative]
28-Apr-2015 17:34 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
02-May-2015 14:10 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source]
06-May-2015 20:09 Aerossurance Updated [Registration, Cn, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Mar-2016 16:31 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
12-Oct-2016 17:53 TB Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
13-Sep-2017 08:41 harro Updated [Source]
01-Dec-2017 13:02 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Feb-2018 14:47 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature]

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