Accident Eurocopter EC 135T1 N109BC,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 344983
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Date:Monday 28 August 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 135T1
Owner/operator:Broward County Sheriffs Office (BSO Fire Rescue)
Registration: N109BC
MSN: 0139
Year of manufacture:1999
Total airframe hrs:5557 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Pompano Beach, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Pompano Beach Airport, FL (PPM/KPMP)
Destination airport:Pompano Beach Airport, FL (PPM/KPMP)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On August 28, 2023, about 0844 eastern daylight time, a Eurocopter Deutschland GMBH EC135T1, N109BC, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pompano Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. One paramedic onboard and a resident of an apartment building were fatally injured, while a second paramedic onboard was seriously injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air medical flight.

During an interview, the pilot reported that the helicopter was dispatched to transport a patient from the scene of an automobile accident. During initial climb, west of Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida, about 300 to 400 ft above ground level, the pilot heard a “bang” from the rear of the helicopter and noticed that the turbine outlet temperature (TOT) was rising on the No. 1 engine. He set the No.1 engine throttle to idle, declared an emergency to air traffic control, and reversed direction to return to the airport. He scanned the cockpit instrument panel and noticed that the No.1 engine fire button had illuminated. He pressed the button to activate the fire suppression system; however, the TOT continued to rise on the No. 1 engine. The pilot subsequently heard a second “bang,” and was unable to control the helicopter. It spun and descended into an apartment building.

Review of witness video revealed an in-flight fire near the area of the engine exhaust and the tailboom attach point. The tailboom partially separated in-flight and the helicopter descended in a right spin.

The wreckage came to rest on its left side, facing south, through the roof of a one-story apartment building. A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the airframe. The tailboom was located about 30 ft south of the main wreckage and its fenestron (tailrotor) remained intact. All four main rotor blades separated near the blade root, consistent with impact damage. Both engines and their respective full authority digital engine control unit were retained for further examination and data download. Additionally, hydraulic lines for the fenestron actuator, near the taiboom attach point, and the No. 1 engine fuel shutoff valve assembly were also retained for further examination.

The helicopter was manufactured in 1999 and powered by two Turbomeca Arrius 2B1, 670turboshaft horsepower engines. It was maintained under a manufacturer’s approved inspection program. It’s most recent 100-hr inspection was completed on May 23, 2023. At that time, the airframe had accrued 5,557.1 total hours. The engines had accrued 5,327.2 hours since new (2,251.3 hours since overhaul in 2016). The helicopter was operated about 24 hours from the time of the most recent inspection, until the accident.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA23FA352
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


NTSB (history) (photo)



Revision history:

28-Aug-2023 13:53 Captain Adam Added
28-Aug-2023 14:50 RobertMB Updated
28-Aug-2023 15:25 Aerossurance Updated
28-Aug-2023 16:11 Anon. Updated
28-Aug-2023 17:03 Anon. Updated
28-Aug-2023 17:33 Captain Adam Updated
29-Aug-2023 14:22 Aerossurance Updated
29-Aug-2023 16:00 RobertMB Updated

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