ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 200578
Last updated: 23 September 2020
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.

Time:15:08 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic MI8 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Mil Mi-8AMT
Owner/operator:Convers Avia
Registration: RA-22312
C/n / msn: 171C00643116106U
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Isfjorden, N of Cap Heer, Barentsburg, Svalbard -   Norway
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Pyramiden
Destination airport:Heerodden, Barentsburg
Investigating agency: AIBN
The Mi-8 helicopter with flight number CVS312, a flight for the Trust Arktikugol mining company, was en route from Pyramiden to Cape Heer with eight people on board. The helicopter was last in contact with AFIS at Svalbard Airport Longyearbyen at 15:06 local time when asked to contact "Barentsburg" landing site. Shortly afterwards, the helicopter was reported missing. The helicopter was found at a depth of 209 meters approx. 2 km outside Heerodden. One deceased person was found on the seabed about 150 meters from the helicopter wreck. The other seven were not found, even after extensive searches along major parts of the coastline in Isfjorden.

Investigation into the accident indicates that the accident was caused by loss of visual references during the last part of the approach to the Russian helicopter base at Heerodden. There were varying visibility conditions, and visibility conditions were reported well below the minima established for approach. Despite this, the pilots continued their approach and lost visual references and crashed. All the occupants had evacuated the helicopter. None of them wore neither life jackets nor survival suits. It can be assumed that after a few minutes they became so cold that they could not stay on the surface due to air and water temperature and sea state.

The helicopter was equipped with neither life raft nor emergency float equipment. It was quickly filled with water due to damage caused by the impact, and probably tipped around quickly before it sank.

The investigation has not revealed any technical problems on the helicopter that could explain the cause of the incident.

The investigation has revealed that there are no defined requirements in Norwegian regulations, which is also applicable to Svalbard, for emergency equipment in multi-engine helicopters that operates in high risk areas. The AIBN believes that emergency equipment requirements should be defined for multi-engine helicopters flying in such locations.

Convers Avia’s helicopter operations in Svalbard were based on visual flight conditions (VMC) and visual flight rules (VFR). With the rapidly climatic changes that are on Svalbard, the AIBN believes that helicopter operations in the polar night should be performed by pilots with instrument ratings in helicopters with suitable instrumentation (IFR).

The investigation also revealed conditions at the Convers Avia's base at Heerodden which indicate that the company's standards were not systematically complied with. The AIBN believes that Russian aviation authorities and the helicopter company must follow up the organization in Svalbard to ensure compliance with government regulations and company requirements.

Sources: (picture in article may not be the actual one)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIBN
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 3 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

26-Oct-2017 14:48 asyl Added
26-Oct-2017 15:14 asyl Updated [Source]
26-Oct-2017 16:07 Iceman 29 Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:11 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
26-Oct-2017 16:16 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:24 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:26 Inuki Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:34 Iceman 29 Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:41 asyl Updated [Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Oct-2017 16:42 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Damage]
26-Oct-2017 19:52 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
27-Oct-2017 18:18 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2017 07:45 Iceman 29 Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2017 09:56 asyl Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2017 10:16 gerard57 Updated [Damage]
29-Oct-2017 10:55 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2017 18:06 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2017 19:54 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
30-Oct-2017 14:30 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
30-Oct-2017 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
04-Nov-2017 11:47 asyl Updated [Source, Narrative]
04-Nov-2017 11:48 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Nov-2017 11:58 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
10-Nov-2017 10:49 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Dec-2017 15:43 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
06-Feb-2020 23:45 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
22-Aug-2020 15:04 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code]
22-Aug-2020 15:06 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code]
11-Sep-2020 16:48 harro Updated [Narrative, Accident report, Accident report, ]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description