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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188189
Last updated: 1 February 2021
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Date:21-OCT-1996
Time:14:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B Jet Ranger III
Owner/operator:Helicopter Training and Hire Ltd
Registration: G-OONS
C/n / msn: 8721
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Florence Court, 8 miles SW of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Florence Court, 8 miles SW of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Destination airport:City of Derry (Eglinton) Airport (EGAE)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 21-10-1996 when crashed at Florence Court, 8 miles south-west of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Of the five person on board (pilot and four passengers) the pilot and two passengers were seriously injured. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"While the helicopter was en route from Florence Court, near Enniskillen, to Londonderry and flying at 1,500 feet, about 5 minutes after take-off, the pilot heard a 'loud bang' and felt a jolt. The pilot, believing he had an engine failure, immediately commenced an auto rotation. He reduced speed to 60 knots, but, at 500 feet, as he applied some collective to arrest the descent, there was a second 'bang' and the helicopter began to spin to the right.

The helicopter touched down hard and bounced, eventually coming to rest in an upright position. Initial reports were that the helicopter's tail rotor had been struck by a large bird because 'an explosion of feathers' had been seen in the area of the tail. However, a black object was also seen 'spiralling down' from the helicopter and this was later found to have been one of the passenger's jackets, which had been put in the luggage locker prior to departure.

It was subsequently determined that the locker, although latched closed, had come open in flight allowing the jacket to fly out and enter the tail rotor disc. It is believed that, when the locker had been closed, part of the jacket, which was a dark colour, similar to the paint scheme on the helicopter, had stuck out and prevented the door from shutting flush against the side of the helicopter.

Then, during flight, pressure fluctuations caused by the main rotor apparently distorted the door enough to allow it to come open. The helicopter was one of three taking part in a promotional trip for Guinness Ireland".

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Aircraft damaged beyond economical repair". However, despite this assessment, this Bell 206B WAS repaired, with the registration G-OONS being cancelled on 10-4-1997 as "Transferred to another country or authority > REPUBLIC OF IRELAND". Helicopter became EI-CUS.

NOTE: The history of G-OONS is complex, as this particular helicopter was re-registered in the UK and Ireland at least six times in ten years, as follows...

13-02-1990: First UK registered as G-OONS
20-06-1994: Re-registered as G-LIND
25-10-1995: Reverted to former registration G-OONS
21-10-1996: "Written off" in an accident (as per above)
10-04-1997: Repaired and re-registered in Ireland as EI-CUS
07-06-2000: Reverted to UK registration, this time as G-BZKA
24-08-2000: Returned to Ireland and reverted to former registration EI-CUS

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f671ed915d13740005c7/dft_avsafety_pdf_501547.pdf
2. CAA: https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=OONS
3. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=3586
4. http://homepage.eircom.net/~eihelicopters/helireg.txt
5. https://www.flyinginireland.com/aircraft.php?Registration=EI-CUS

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Jun-2016 18:46 Dr.John Smith Added
16-Jun-2016 18:58 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Jun-2016 19:00 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Jun-2016 19:02 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Narrative]
16-Jun-2016 19:03 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location]
16-Jun-2016 19:09 Dr.John Smith Updated [Departure airport]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description