Accident Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil N841BP, 12 May 2021
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 259808
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Registration: N841BP
MSN: 2036
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Clarence E Page Municipal Airport (RCE/KRCE), Oklahoma City, OK -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Oklahoma City-Will Rogers Airport, OK (OKC/KOKC)
Destination airport:Clarence E Page Municipal Airport, OK (RCE/KRCE)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On May 12, 2021, about 1530 central daylight time, an Aerospatiale (Airbus) AS350 B2 helicopter, N841BP, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Yukon, Oklahoma. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a 14 CFR Part 91 public aircraft instructional flight.

The pilot receiving instruction (pilot) and the flight instructor were conducting a training flight in the helicopter. They performed several simulated emergencies, each of which required the helicopter’s hydraulic system to be turned off and then turned back on at the conclusion of the procedure. The hydraulic system was turned off and on using the hydraulic cut-off switch, an unguarded push-button switch mounted on the end of the pilot’s collective stick.

After completing the emergency procedures, the pilot performed four quick stop maneuvers. The flight instructor reported that on the last quick stop, the helicopter slowed normally but then started a left yaw about 25 ft above ground level. The pilot noted the left yaw and attempted to correct it, but his pedal inputs did not stop the yaw. As the pilot tightened his grip on the collective, the hydraulic system turned off, likely due to the pilot inadvertently pressing the hydraulic cut-off switch, and the left yaw rapidly increased to a left spin. According to the flight instructor, the control loads “instantly became excessive,” and he noticed the hydraulic light on the caution warning panel was illuminated. The pilot intentionally pressed the hydraulic cut-off switch a total of three times, but hydraulic pressure was never restored. The flight instructor told the pilot that he was taking control of the helicopter. However, the pilot did not relinquish control. The flight instructor attempted to regain control of the helicopter but was unable to overcome the high control loads.

The helicopter continued to spin, impacted the ground, rolled over, and came to rest on its right side. A postimpact fire consumed most of the helicopter. Although examination of the helicopter was limited due to fire damage, no preimpact abnormalities were identified with helicopter’s airframe and engine.

The US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Division reported that the agency’s selection process for the Air Interdiction Agent Program failed to properly identify that the pilot was not qualified for the program.

Because the pilot did not have the qualifications and experience required for the Air Interdiction Agent Program, he did not have the prerequisite skill necessary to critically assess the situation given by the flight instructor. This resulted in the pilot applying improper corrective actions and failing to relinquish control of the helicopter to the flight instructor when directed, which contributed the accident.

Probable Cause: The pilot receiving instruction’s untimely and unidentified inadvertent activation of the hydraulic cut-off switch, which turned off the hydraulic system while the helicopter was at slow airspeed followed by a rapid power increase, which resulted in a loss of control. Contributing was the pilot’s failure to relinquish control of the helicopter to the flight instructor when directed.



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



Photos: NTSB

Revision history:

12-May-2021 21:55 Geno Added
12-May-2021 23:33 Geno Updated [Phase, Source, Narrative]
12-May-2021 23:36 Geno Updated [Source]
13-May-2021 05:00 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Narrative]
14-May-2021 05:49 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
14-May-2021 07:31 Captain Adam Updated [Operator, Narrative]
14-May-2021 08:46 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
22-May-2021 14:21 ecspotter Updated [Registration, Cn]
24-May-2021 15:19 ecspotter Updated [Aircraft type]
24-May-2021 15:19 harro Updated [Cn]
08-Jan-2022 15:17 rvargast17 Updated [Aircraft type]
20-Jan-2023 17:51 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
23-Jan-2023 23:47 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report, Photo]
23-Jan-2023 23:48 Captain Adam Updated [Photo]
18-Feb-2023 10:23 Aerossurance Updated [Operator]
26-Feb-2023 10:18 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code]

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