Accident Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil C-FWCR,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 215138
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Date:Thursday 15 February 2018
Time:11:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Sahtu Helicopters
Registration: C-FWCR
MSN: 2204
Year of manufacture:1989
Engine model:Turbomeca ARRIEL 1D1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:3 nm WNW Tulita, NT -   Canada
Phase: Standing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:-
Destination airport:-
Investigating agency: TSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At 09:39 on 15 February 2018, the Sahtu Helicopters Ltd. Airbus Helicopters AS350B2 departed Norman Wells Airport (CYVQ), Northwest Territories, with the pilot and 1 passenger on board. The purpose of the flight was to transport the passenger to a telecommunications tower on Bear Rock, Northwest Territories, which is located 35 nautical miles (nm) southeast of Norman Wells, and 3 nm west-northwest of Tulita, Northwest Territories.
At 09:58, the helicopter landed on a helipad near the telecommunications tower and was shut down. The helipad, measuring 16 feet by 16 feet, is made of treated timber and is located 165 feet from the telecommunications tower service building. At the time of the occurrence, the helipad was mostly bare wood; however, there were several patches of ice.
Approximately 30 minutes after landing, given the temperature at the time, the pilot conducted a first engine run as per the AS 350 B2 flight manual supplement Instructions for Operation in Cold Weather, because pre-heat was not available. On start-up, the pilot felt vibrations consistent with those felt over the previous 3 days, both on the ground and during flight.
At 11:08, the pilot initiated the engine-start sequence for another engine run. The engine started and accelerated normally to 70% gas generator speed (Ng). The pilot increased the fuel flow control to the flight position. As the throttle was increased, the helicopter began bucking fore and aft on the landing gear skids.
In response, the pilot decreased the fuel flow control, which increased the bucking. The pilot then decided to lift off in order to stop what he perceived to be ground resonance. The fuel flow control was quickly increased and the collective raised; however, the fuel flow control was not fully advanced and locked into the flight gate. Neither the main rotor rpm nor the engine rpm accelerated to the flight-governing range before the helicopter became airborne.
The helicopter lifted several feet off the helipad, rotated to the left, and drifted approximately 30 m to the southeast. Given that the engine rpm had not accelerated into the flight-governing range, the rotor rpm subsequently dropped, and the pilot was unable to maintain control of the helicopter.

At approximately 11:10, the helicopter descended, collided with terrain and came to rest 50 m downslope of the helipad. The emergency locator transmitter did not activate. The engine remained running for a short while, then shut down on its own.
The pilot was wearing the 4-point lap and shoulder harness, but was not wearing a helmet. He received serious injuries, but managed to egress the helicopter, return to the telecommunications tower service building, and contact the company to report the accident. The passenger who had been transported to the telecommunications tower administered first aid to the pilot. A company helicopter was dispatched from Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, and arrived at approximately 1500 to transport the pilot to medical facilities in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB
Report number: A18W0025
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

05-Sep-2018 18:56 harro Added
10-Sep-2018 19:31 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
10-Sep-2018 19:36 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
14-Feb-2019 17:26 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]

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