Was Turkish Police Alouette II overloaded in fatal accident?

Was Turkish Police Alouette II overloaded in fatal accident?

24-May-2011 Source: HeliHub.com

A fatal Turkish police SA318C Alouette II crash on Friday has raised a number of questions. The National Police Department Aviation Unit has launched an investigation into the crash, which occurred during a flight to examine Ä°stanbul’s city MOBESE security cameras, which are installed in many streets across the city.

The four people killed in the crash were Ali Bilgen, director of the Information Technologies Unit of the police department, Bilgen’s nine-year old son, Abdullah Tarık Bilgen, Police Superintendant Murat Güçlü and Turkish Airlines pilot Mehmet Oray Sarıçay. The helicopter’s pilot, Kemal Özdemir (described in some reports as the “Aviation Division Director”) survived the accident by swimming to safety. Investigators are now trying to answer crucial questions in relation to the accident, including why the IT chief’s son and THY pilot Sarıçay were aboard the helicopter, as neither had permission to take part in the flight.

Another question investigators will try to answer is whether the capacity of the helicopter had been exceeded. The helicopter, an Alouette II manufactured in 1964 and added to the police force’s fleet in 1984 when they purchased 18 pre-owned examples from the German Army.

Investigators are now concentrating on the state of the engine during the crash based on the pilot’s statement that the engine suddenly stopped. The pilot is reported to have said, “I tried for a soft landing, but I failed.”.  The investigation will also consider whether Özdemir, who did not have a lot of flight hours due to the demands of his administrative duties, was flying the helicopter to fill a minimum flying hours quota that aviation officers require to be eligible to receive flight compensation.

See also HeliHub.com accident page – 20-May-11 Eurocopter SA318C Istanbul, Turkey (4F)

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