ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 17907
Last updated: 6 July 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:16-DEC-1996
Time:19:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Agusta-Bell AB 206B
Owner/operator:European Aviation Ltd
Registration: G-BFJW
MSN: 8340
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Parkway, near Ledbury, Herefordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Parkway, near Ledbury, Herefordshire
Destination airport:Bournemouth, Hurn (BOH/EGHH)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Ex-(D-HNWS), D-HMOG, F-BXOX, G-BFJW, EI-BRL, G-BFJW: Written off (damaged beyond repair) 16-12-1996 when tail rotor hit trees during takeoff from Parkway, near Ledbury, Herefordshire. All three persons on board (pilot and two passengers) were killed.

The helicopter was destroyed when it went out of control and crashed after its main rotor struck trees shortly after take-off. On departure from the private helipad, the helicopter had climbed, in the hover, to a height of about 20 metres. and the pilot had begun to transition to forward flight.

However, at this point the helicopter was seen to be drifting backwards and its main rotor struck the top of a fir tree, located 35 metres behind and 8 metres to the right of the helicopter's take-off point, at a height of 22 metres. The accident happened in darkness (19:20 hours Local time). Weather, scattered to broken cloud at 1,000 feet, and wind at 140 degrees/5 knots.

The helipad was an unmarked lawn running north to south behind a three-story house with tall trees on both sides. The only illumination was from room lighting within the house.

The subsequent investigation was unable to discover any fault with the helicopter. It is understood that the pilot normally took-off with the helicopter's landing lights on and then turned them off shortly after getting airborne. It is suggested that, if he followed his normal practise and turned off the lights as he began to transition to forward flight, the sudden darkness would have made it difficult for him to notice that the helicopter had begun to drift backwards.

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Helicopter destroyed". As a result, the registration G-BFJW was cancelled by the CAA on 9-5-1997 as "destroyed"

Sources:

1. Flight International 19-25 November 1997 p.47 at https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1997/1997%20-%203187.html
2. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422fa23e5274a1314000755/dft_avsafety_pdf_502386.pdf
3. CAA; https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=BFJW
4. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=3584

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
20-Mar-2011 15:05 harro Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Phase, Source, Damage, Narrative]
09-Nov-2012 14:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Jun-2016 16:45 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
17-Jun-2016 16:47 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description