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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 201044
Last updated: 30 April 2021
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Time:17:22 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aerospatiale AS 350BA Squirrel
Owner/operator:Rotorlift Aviation
Registration: VH-BAA
MSN: 2015
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Hobart Airport (YMHB), TAS -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Hobart Airport, TAS (HBA/YMHB)
Destination airport:Hobart Airport, TAS (HBA/YMHB)
Investigating agency: ATSB
On 6 November 2017, a commercial helicopter pilot commenced a 2-day AS350 helicopter endorsement as a pilot under instruction (PUI). The first day was spent with an instructor covering aircraft systems, and pre-flight inspection. The PUI and instructor also conducted a 1.1-hour flight that afternoon covering the initial flying components of the endorsement.
On 7 November 2017, the PUI studied the aircraft’s electrical system, and theory on handling of in-flight emergencies, including hydraulic system emergencies, with the same instructor. Following the classroom session, the PUI conducted an inspection of the aircraft under the supervision of the instructor.
At 10:02 local time, the PUI and instructor commenced a training flight of 1.2 hours covering pinnacle approaches and confined areas, followed by run-on landings. The PUI’s next planned flight was with the chief flying instructor (CFI) for the conduct of emergency sequences.
At the aircraft, the PUI explained his requirement for a low-level approval and type endorsement with the CFI however, no pre-flight brief was conducted. The PUI and CFI boarded the aircraft and began the flight at 16:22. Pre-flight checks included testing of the hydraulic system and switches with no apparent faults identified. The PUI recalled that following the low-level phase of the training flight, the CFI demonstrated some upper air emergencies and had the PUI perform them. After satisfactory completion, they flew back to Hobart Airport for a continuation of practice emergencies.
The PUI recalled that upon joining the circuit at left base for approach to area X-Ray parallel to runway 12, the CFI announced a simulated hydraulic failure and activated the hydraulic test (HYD TEST) switch. As expected, a warning light and horn sounded. The PUI slowed from 90 kt to below 60 kt, consistent with the flight manual profile for hydraulic failure. The PUI then activated the hydraulic cut-off (HYD CUTOFF) switch. Following that, it is highly likely that the HYD TEST switch was released, though it is not known specifically when that occurred.
The PUI was to fly a run-on landing at around 10 kt without hydraulic assistance as per the requirements of the flight manual procedure. The PUI said he was comfortable to do so knowing the CFI was there to step in if anything were to go wrong. The PUI had very little further recollection, beyond the initiation of the event.
Control of the helicopter was lost and the aircraft collided with terrain. The CFI was fatally injured and the PUI was seriously injured.

Contributing factors
- The rotorcraft flight manual hydraulic failure emergency procedures were not followed. Specifically, the final approach was flown with a significant right crosswind and the helicopter was allowed to slow to a high hover.
- The hydraulic failure training sequence was allowed to progress to a point where control was no longer assured.
- Hover flight without hydraulic assistance led to loss of control of the aircraft.
- The hydraulic system was restored too late in the sequence to recover control of the aircraft. The reason for late restoration could not be determined.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

07-Nov-2017 13:42 gerard57 Added
07-Nov-2017 14:50 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Nov-2017 20:51 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source, Embed code]
07-Nov-2017 20:52 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
08-Nov-2017 04:24 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Embed code]
08-Nov-2017 14:53 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Source]
08-Nov-2017 20:23 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
18-Dec-2017 13:12 Iceman 29 Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
22-Jul-2020 07:11 harro Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]
22-Jul-2020 07:11 harro Updated [Embed code, Accident report, ]

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