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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 74477
Last updated: 10 October 2020
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Time:17:48 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas MD 500E (369E)
Registration: G-VICE
C/n / msn: 0365E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near the Tavistock Inn Pub, Poundsgate, Newton Abbot, Devon -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Private Helipad, Longdown,Exeter, Devon
Destination airport:Tavistock Inn, Poundsgate, Newton Abbot, Devon
Investigating agency: AAIB
Written off 24/5/2010: Helicopter struck power lines and crashed near the Tavistock Inn Pub, Poundsgate, Newton Abbot, Devon, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot was making a different approach into a field he had used previously and failed to see a set of power cables. The aircraft struck the cables, which broke before the aircraft struck the ground. The pilot suffered injuries and was taken to hospital. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft took off from a private site near Exeter and flew to another private site, located next to an inn in a
hamlet northwest of Newton Abbot in Devon. The pilot had flown there on previous occasions, but the field he normally used had been ploughed, forcing him to land in an adjacent field to the north. This field was bordered on
its northern edge by a line of trees some 80 feet high, with a gap in the centre approximately 25 yards wide.

The wind conditions on the day of the accident necessitated the approach to the field to be made from the north, over the trees. Although the pilot had also landed previously in this field, he had used the open area at the opposite end from the trees. However, on this occasion, the presence of horses made him decide to aim for the northern end of the field.

Accordingly, he decided to approach through the gap in the line of trees. The pilot stated that, at an airspeed of around 45 knots, the aircraft struck some power cables that were suspended approximately 50 feet above the ground. The cables became trapped between the skids and the fuselage underside, with the tension partially arresting the forwards motion of the aircraft before breaking.

The aircraft struck the ground and disintegrated, with the cockpit area, which remained relatively intact, rolling some 85 yards before coming to rest. The pilotís harness remained secure during the impact and he was able to extricate himself, having suffered minor injuries.

A bystander who had witnessed the accident, and who was also a pilot, ran over to the wreckage and assisted the
pilot in shutting down the engine, which had continued to run after the impact."

Nature of Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Extensive" damage. Per an eyewitness report: "I loaded the wreck on to a trailer this evening. All fuel had leaked out , all landing gear dampers had sheared off. Blades had taken doghouse and tail boom clean off. Rotor head had failed on the actual casting, all blade pins intact ! The actual A frame completely intact. As loss adjuster said pilot would be dead in any other type of light helicopter. I now have even more faith in the machine, hats off to the 3 designers who designed this in the 1960's". The damage sustained must have been extensive enough to render the airframe as "beyond economic repair", as the registration G-VICE was cancelled by the CAA on 17-06-2010 as "Destroyed"


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
10. Photo of wreckage:

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


Revision history:

24-May-2010 22:12 saf7670 Added
25-May-2010 01:57 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
16-Sep-2012 15:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-May-2013 17:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
19-Nov-2016 23:44 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
19-Nov-2016 23:45 Dr.John Smith Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
19-Nov-2016 23:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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