1-Mar-2016 Source: TH180
On February 12th, Enstrom Helicopter N180TH, the prototype TH-180 experienced a mechanical problem and made a forced landing. During the landing, the rotor struck a wooden utility pole, cutting off the pole and destroying the main rotor blades. The pilot, the only person on board, was uninjured. Preliminary investigation indicates that a piece of flight test instrumentation in the main drive system failed, disconnecting the engine from the drive train. Enstrom believes this accident demonstrated the ruggedness of the design and the ability of the aircraft to protect the occupants.
“Enstrom’s second TH-180 flight test vehicle was already in production and we are working on completion ahead of the original schedule. This aircraft is expected to begin flying in April or May timeframe. By rearranging our certification flight test schedule, we anticipate this accident will cause only a minimal delay for the program.” said William Taylor, Co-Program Manager of the TH180 program