Final report after fatal R44 accident in Norway

Final report after fatal R44 accident in Norway

10-Jan-2014 Source: Nordic Rotors

The Accident Investigation Board of Norway (AIBN) has published its final report after an accident that occurred on 11 January 2012 southeast of Mosjøen, Nordland, involving a Swedish helicopter with the registration SE-JPZ.

The aircraft, a Robinson R44 Raven II, had been hired for a reindeer-herding operation between an area south of Mosjøen and Sjåmoen in Norway. On the second day of the job the helicopter crew continued to work after the darkness fell. Shortly after 17:30 people on the ground heard a distinctive bang, followed by silence. The helicopter had struck the ground with a high rate of descent and at a steep bank angle to the left. The two people on board, an experienced 62-year-old Swedish pilot and a local Norwegian reindeer keeper, were killed at the moment of Impact.

The AIBN states that it is likely that the pilot lost control of the helicopter due to loss of visual references. Heavy showers of snow were reported nearby, and darkness prevailed. The investigation board did not find any technical malfunctions or failures that could explain the accident.

The AIBN further concludes that the flight was conducted in violation of the regulations due to the fact that it was executed at low altitude in darkness. The report mentions that the company in question had been involved in several accidents throughout the past decade, but it says that the operator has introduced several preventive arrangements lately, including safety courses and a warning system that ensures that no reindeer herding will be conducted in darkness. AIBN praises the company for its proactive initiative to install tracking systems in all of its helicopters several years ago. The Investigation Board has not issued any safety recommendations in connection with the investigation.

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

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