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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 141929
Last updated: 27 April 2021
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Time:13:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Registration: C-FMPG
MSN: 3082
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Cultus Lake, near Chilliwack, BC -   Canada
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Cultus Lake, near Chilliwack, BC
Destination airport:
The helicopter took off from a staging area with only the pilot onboard. The helicopter was hovering briefly at about 80 feet above ground level when suddenly an abnormal noise and puff of smoke occurred, seemingly from the engine. The helicopter descended, turned about 180, and crashed on the ground below. The pilot was attended by medically trained personnel within 30 seconds of the crash, however his injuries were fatal. The aircraft was destroyed. There was no post-crash fire. It had been snowing before the accident.

The pilot was the only person aboard and died from his injuries.

The aircraft had been left parked during a snowfall.

Based on the circumstances of this occurrence and the well-documented history of engine flame-outs associated with water, snow, or ice ingress, the investigation determined that the cause of the loss of engine power was a sudden change in the critical air/fuel ratio as a result of soft ice ingestion. While it is impossible to know for sure how much soft ice was ingested by the engine, the damage to the compressor blades suggests that the amount of soft ice striking the blades was larger than the amount seen in the certification tests.

When the helicopter experienced a loss of engine power, which occurred while hovering at approximately 80 feet agl, the helicopter would not have had sufficient altitude or time to fully enter autorotative flight. As a result, the pilot would have had little opportunity to preserve main-rotor rpm (rrpm), and a high rate of descent would have developed rapidly. As the helicopter descended, the rapid decay in rrpm resulting from the engine power loss reduced the effectiveness of the flight controls, leading to an impact with terrain that was beyond human tolerances.



Revision history:

18-Jan-2012 00:11 Thaimax Added
18-Jan-2012 00:36 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Damage]
18-Jan-2012 06:01 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2012 11:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
01-Jan-2019 21:00 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
01-Jan-2019 21:00 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
01-Jan-2019 21:01 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
02-Jan-2019 18:30 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
17-Jan-2021 10:08 Aerossurance Updated [Departure airport, Source, Embed code]

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