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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181525
Last updated: 5 February 2021
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Date:20-NOV-2015
Time:11:27 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic H269 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Schweizer 269C
Owner/operator:Sr Air Sociedade de Aeronutica
Registration: G-STEP
C/n / msn: S1494
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Ponte de Sor -   Portugal
Phase: Landing
Nature:Training
Departure airport:Ponte de Sr (LPSO)
Destination airport:Ponte de Sr (LPSO)
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Narrative:
The helicopter crashed 2 kilometers fom the Ponte de Sor airfield, on an open area when flying at low altitude, during the atempt of an emergency landing, after a colision with electric wires; a 22 year Angolan woman, taking lessons, was flying alone and was taken to hospital seriously injured, after leaving the aircraft by her own.

CAUSE:
The investigation understands that the probable cause for this accident are definitely related with human factors, leaving the technical failure of the aircraft or any of it system parts without any support.
The student pilot reported to have heard or felt a click (something getting loose) in the cyclic lever but, for a student pilot with the proper profile, this is not reason to enter in panic having in consideration that a helicopter was designed to land at any site, including the ground position just below it, when the click was felt if the procedures say so.
The poor preparation of the flying student to fly solo is the main reason why this accident occurred. In spite of being the third flight solo the fact is that she was not prepared either under the technical or the psychological point of view to fly solo. The student pilot had a difficult learning curve, mainly due to her inability to pilot role job, but also due to the ATO follow-up. Furthermore, considering the learning difficulties of the student during the long period of training until the accident, and her low potential to become a professional pilot, she should either have been dismissed from the course or assisted by a flight instructor in the ground until the first take off for taxi. This procedure could have served as a safety barrier to prevent the development of stress in a person whose lack of natural ability to fly has been already proved and in facto didnt respect any procedure for an emergency landing, showing that she was not prepared for.

Contributing factors:
A fact which has strongly contributed for this accident was the occurrence, less than one year ago, of another accident in the same type of helicopter in which a student of the same course and his flight instructor were killed. The colleagues of the same course feel, with a high intensity, this kind of fatalities and this feeling has a variable duration of time. After a fatality like this, for the most of the students of the same course, any small noise, vibration or even a smell (odor), real or only in their imagination, when flying, can become a reason for alarm. If the student pilot has not, at that moment, enough force to oppose a psychological barrier to the development of the fear, he/she can lose the control of him/herself.
The flight school has reviewed the selection process, as shown on the training manual, section A.2.4 the application policy by adding specific tests on the selection process regarding candidates perceptive, cognitive and psychomotor abilities.

Sources:

http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/cm_ao_minuto/detalhe/queda_de_helicoptero_em_ponte_de_sor_causa_um_ferido_grave___bombeiros.html
http://www.caa.co.uk/aircraft-registration/

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 6 months
Download report: Final report
Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation 01/2018 issued by GPIAAF to EASA


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Nov-2015 18:20 Fusko Added
20-Nov-2015 18:26 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Source]
21-Nov-2015 07:12 Fusko Updated [Narrative]
19-May-2018 17:08 harro Updated [Time, Cn, Narrative]

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