Accident Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil G-MAHO,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 32183
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Date:Monday 14 March 1983
Time:15:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil
Owner/operator:The Colt Car Company Ltd
Registration: G-MAHO
MSN: 1547
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:River Humber, off Spurn Head, south of Hull, East Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Humberside Airport (HUY/EGNJ)
Destination airport:Humberside Airport (HUY/EGNJ)
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Written off 14.3.83: During an air-to-ground filming sortie of a vessel (the mv "Zussow"), in the Humber Estuary, off Spurn Head, the film director requested a "pull away" shot. This required the helicopter to fly backwards and sideways. Whilst undertaking this manoeuvre, some items being held by the film director (including maps and magazines of film) fell and rolled around the cabin, jamming the collective lever, and knocking the pilot's helmet askew.

Temporarily distracted, the pilot flew the helicopter backwards, but not sideways, and collided with the mast of the mv "Zussow". The main rotor blades of G-MAHO struck the mast of the vessel, and the helicopter fell into the sea alongside the ship and sank

Whilst the pilot successfully got out of the submerged wreckage, and dived twice to try and rescue the other two on board (the film director and cameraman), they were drowned, as they were unable to escape the helicopter in time (having been strapped into their seats).

The pilot reported that he was unable to activate the helicopters floatation bags, to prevent G-MAHO from sinking, as the activation switch was in an inaccessible location at the rear of the cabin. The AAIB recommended that the switch be relocated so that it could be operated be the pilot from his seat.

G-MAHO had been first registered in the UK on 5.2.82; the registration was cancelled by the CAA on 5.12.83 - exactly one year ten months (to the day) later - as "destroyed"

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
07-Jun-2014 21:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
07-Jun-2014 21:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
12-Nov-2014 03:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Embed code]

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