ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 214437
Last updated: 20 June 2021
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.

Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Swiss Helicopter
Registration: HB-ZDX
MSN: 3553
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Schwand, Bürglen -   Switzerland
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Erstfeld (LSXE)
Destination airport:Schwand
Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
On the morning of August 8, 2018 at 07:44, the pilot took off with the helicopter, registered as HB-ZDX, from the base Erstfeld (LSXE) in the direction of Schwand. It was his first mission in this area. Prior to landing at the reception area, the crew decided to assess the obstacle situation again from the air, the two flight assistants by means of the printed map section and the pilot by means of the electronic map in the cockpit (moving terrain).
Since the obstacles at the site were very high above the ground and would have had to be flown under for a landing, the crew decided to land above the site, where flight helper A could safely get out. On the way down, the flight helper was able to assess the obstacle situation from the ground. The pilot then took off together with flight helper B, who was seated at the rear left, in the direction of the unloading area about 80 m northeast of the Schwand farm. During the slow final approach, flight assistant B opened the left sliding door to get an overview of the obstacles. After all obstacles had been located and the pilot had consulted the electronic map in the helicopter again, he informed flight helper B via the on-board communication system (intercom) that the landing area was free of obstacles and continued the final approach.
Shortly before touchdown, the pilot noticed a rope on the right side at the level of the front door frame of the pilot's door. Flight Attendant B in the helicopter could not see this obstruction because he was monitoring the left side. The pilot reported "cable" and at the same time there was a bang. The helicopter touched the obstacle with the main rotor blades and started to climb under strong vibrations.
According to his own statements, the pilot was aware that his only chance of survival was to land the helicopter directly below him. Immediately, he pushed down the lever of the collective pitch control with full force and was able to land the helicopter. The pilot and flight assistant were uninjured. The pilot locked the collective and wanted to park the helicopter according to the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM). This proved to be difficult, as the helicopter was unsteady due to the strong ground resonance and repeatedly bounced off the ground for short periods. Due to this situation and a possible amplification of the vibrations, the pilot opened the door to his right to provide himself with an escape route in case of emergency. After the main rotor came to a stop, the pilot was able to exit the helicopter uninjured.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 6 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

15-Aug-2018 06:37 harro Added
30-Nov-2018 10:31 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Feb-2021 17:38 harro Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description