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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 236625
Last updated: 25 November 2021
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Time:17:15 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil
Registration: D-HAUO
MSN: 3342
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Góis -   Portugal
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Lousă
Destination airport:Lousă
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
On May 31, 2020, a pilot accompanied by an instructor pilot, began the pre-flight procedures for a training session with an AS350B3 helicopter for the forest fire fighting season that would begin the following day.
The training session included the accomplishment of several water collections and releases in the assigned mountain training area, that was already known by the instructor pilot, used in two similar training sessions on the same day.
During the fifth scooping cycle, the instructor pilot decided to take over the controls and demonstrate to the pilot the water scooping and take-off procedure aiming to make some corrections on the performed routines.
With the Bambi Bucket filled with water, while starting the transition flight (from hover), the helicopter initiated a leftward rotation and the instructor pilot tried unsuccessfully to counteract immediately applying RH pedal to maintain the heading. The instructor pilot mentioned that he needed to apply unusual force on the controls and there was no appropriate response from the helicopter.
After having made a circular descent of approximately 360ş, the bucket dragged through the vegetation, forcing the helicopter into a deeper nose down attitude and crashed. The pilot sitting on the right with access to the Bambi Bucket opening and emergency release controls, didn’t make use of any of those systems, having the bucket hit the ground still filled with water.

The following factors may have contributed to the event:
− Inadvertent activation of the hydraulics “HYD” cut-off switch at very low speed,
− The incorrect aircraft wiring configuration related to the accomplishment and the lack of post application checks of SB 29.00.07 that allowed to energize the tail rotor load compensator solenoid, losing all hydraulic assistance with the “HYD” switch activation,
− Incorrect aircraft preload of three in four hydraulic accumulators.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report



Figure: GPIAAF

Revision history:

01-Jun-2020 19:38 Mark Added
01-Jun-2020 19:41 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
05-Jun-2020 08:18 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
27-Dec-2020 11:10 Aerossurance Updated [Phase, Source, Embed code, Accident report]
02-Mar-2021 20:11 harro Updated [Embed code]
07-May-2021 18:02 rudy Updated [Category]

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