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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140263
Last updated: 5 August 2019
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Date:07-DEC-2011
Time:16:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Sundance Helicopters Inc
Registration: N37SH
C/n / msn: 2300
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:between Lake Mead and Henderson, NV -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Destination airport:Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Narrative:
On December 7, 2011, about 1630 Pacific standard time, a Sundance Helicopters, Inc., Eurocopter AS350-B2 helicopter, N37SH, operating as a “Twilight tour” sightseeing trip, crashed in mountainous terrain about 14 miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot and four passengers were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Sundance as a scheduled air tour flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions with good visibility and dusk light prevailed at the time of the accident, and the flight operated under visual flight rules. The helicopter originated from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1621 with an intended route of flight to the Hoover Dam area and return to the airport. The helicopter was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with any on board recording devices.

Probable Cause: Sundance Helicopters’ inadequate maintenance of the helicopter, including (1) the improper reuse of a degraded self-locking nut, (2) the improper or lack of installation of a split pin, and (3) inadequate postmaintenance inspections, which resulted in the in-flight separation of the servo control input rod from the fore/aft servo and rendered the helicopter uncontrollable. Contributing to the improper or lack of installation of the split pin was the mechanic’s fatigue and the lack of clearly delineated maintenance task steps to follow. Contributing to the inadequate postmaintenance inspection was the inspector’s fatigue and the lack of clearly delineated inspection steps to follow.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20111208X52528&key=1
http://aerossurance.com/helicopters/16-million-maintenance-errors/
The Safety Board’s full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/reports_aviation.html. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-13/01.


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Dec-2011 00:32 gerard57 Added
08-Dec-2011 00:41 FLYINGBROTHER1 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Location]
08-Dec-2011 05:43 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Dec-2011 23:36 Geno Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
21-Sep-2014 11:00 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:38 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
01-Jan-2019 16:39 Aerossurance Updated [Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]

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