Sweden – AS350 tail rotor failure due to maintenance oversight

Sweden – AS350 tail rotor failure due to maintenance oversight

27-Oct-2011 Source: Nordic Rotors

The Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens Haverikommission, SHK) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 9 January 2009 near Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, involving a helicopter with the registration SE-JKF.

The aircraft, a 144 hour young Eurocopter AS 350 B3, was about to land at the airport to pick up passengers for a taxi flight when the tail rotor gearbox chip warning came on. The helicopter started to turn, but the pilot could regain partial directional control by increasing speed, lowering altitude and reducing engine power. He managed to fly away from lighting masts and other obstacles, but couldn’t reach a suitable place for an emergency landing, why he subsequently aimed for a small forest glade near the airport. The helicopter entered an uncontrolled yaw and impacted the ground in a high rate of decent and a low airspeed. The experienced pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, survived the accident with minor injuries.

The Investigation Board has determined that the accident was caused by the fact that the helicopter had not been restored to an airworthy condition after a maintenance work had been carried out. A contributory factor was deficiencies in the quality assurance management by the maintenance organization. The tail rotor seized to work due to the lack of oil in the tail rotor gearbox, and the consequences of the failure were aggravated by deficiencies in the emergency instructions for this type of helicopter in respect of the management of a chip warning or a tail rotor drive failure respectively.

Download the full report here

Reproduced from Nordic Rotors with permission. Copyright and full responsibility for the content of this article remains with Nordic Rotors

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