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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187829
Last updated: 24 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger III
Owner/operator:Catto Aviation Ltd
Registration: G-STOX
MSN: 1513
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:6nm West of Kettering, Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Peterborough (Conington) Airport (EGSP)
Destination airport:Cranfield, Bedfordshire (EGTC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Substantially damaged 24-1-1995 when force landed 6 nautical miles west of Kettering, Northamptonshire, during a pipeline inspection sortie. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The helicopter was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The helicopter was being used on a pipeline patrol between Peterborough (Conington) Airport and Cranfield, with an experienced observer occupying one of the rear seats and a trainee observer in the front.

During the flight the pilot decided to demonstrate to the trainee the action taken on observing a pipeline encroachment; manoeuvring the helicopter and coming to a hover. After checking that the area was clear, the pilot entered an expeditious descending turn to come to a hover into wind and during this descent he used gentle applications of collective lever to contain the rotor speed while in the low power range.

The pilot reports that, as he levelled off from the descent, he 'tightened' the flare as he came into wind and gently raised the collective lever to bring the NR (rotor speed) and N2 (power turbine speed) together. Up to this point the pilot believes that the engine was responding normally.

As the effect of the flare diminished, he started to raise the collective lever in a smooth and progressive manner, so as to apply engine power, but the rotor speed began to droop and continued to droop until the Low Rotor RPM audio warning and caption were activated. At about this point the experienced observer in the rear seat noted a distinctive series of sounds from the engine/transmission area.

The pilot lowered the lever and attempted to use his remaining forward airspeed to restore the rotor speed, which stabilised at about 85% NR. During this time the helicopter descended and the pilot used the remaining rotor speed to cushion the touchdown. After touchdown the pilot was aware of the helicopter's nose pitching down, the main rotor blades flapping violently and the aircraft rocking wildly. The main rotor blades cut off the tail and the helicopter came to rest facing 180 degrees from the initial direction of touchdown.

Subsequent examination of the helicopter's engine controls, engine and fuel system, failed to discover any significant discrepancies which could result in a substantial loss of power. However, the pilot did report that, during checks on the ground before the flight, the helicopter's engine had shown 'unusual symptoms'. The engine had responded correctly to 'slam' decelerations but the pilot had found that, on re-advancing the throttle, the engine would tend to 'surge'.

The experienced observer in the rear seat described the series of sounds he heard as the pilot applied power in the flare as a 'whuff-whuffwhuff': he also stated that this was very similar to the sounds accompanying the application of power after the 'slam' decelerations during the ground check before flight"

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Complete separation of empennage, tail rotor, and aft section of tail boom". However, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service; on 7-3-1996, G-STOX was re-registered as G-JAES.


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
4. Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger III G-STOX at Duxford 25-08-1991:

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

Revision history:

02-Jun-2016 21:26 Dr.John Smith Added

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