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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 70048
Last updated: 25 March 2020
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Time:16:25 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic GAZL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale SA 341G Gazelle
Registration: YU-HEW
C/n / msn: 1491
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rudding Park, Harrogate, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:East Ardsley, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AAIB
The helicopter was destroyed when it crashed shortly after take-off from Rudding Park Hotel, coming down in woods about a mile from its original departure point. After take-off the pilot had flown to the nearby town of Knaresborough, where he had circled the shopping centre, before returning to the vicinity of the hotel.

The helicopter was seen flying slowly at a low height near a chalet the pilot owned in the grounds of the hotel. It was then seen to 'spin around' and pitch up before losing height and crashing. The accident happened in daylight (16:25 hours Local time) but in strong, gusting wind conditions. It is reported that the pilot, Paul Spencer, had only recently taken delivery of the helicopter and had only limited experience on the type and on helicopters.

The AAIB considered that the pilot lost control of the helicopter while flying slowly in strong and gusting winds. The Branch stated in their report that there were inconsistencies and probable deficiencies in the pilot's training and his subsequent PPL(H) Skills Test.


1. AAIB:
7. Gazelle YU-HEW on 30-04-2006:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Photo of YU-HEW courtesy

Old Buckenham (EGSV)
30 April 2006; (c) John Allan

Revision history:

12-Nov-2009 00:35 harro Added
02-Dec-2009 21:24 Anon. Updated
10-Sep-2011 14:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Source, Narrative]
18-Jan-2013 12:47 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
13-May-2013 13:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Embed code]
25-Jun-2013 16:43 TB Updated [Operator, Narrative]
20-Sep-2016 22:27 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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