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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 135045
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aerospatiale AS 350BA Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Sunshine Helicopters, Inc.
Registration: N3607P
MSN: 1249
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Manawainui Gulch, near Mount Haleakala, Hana, Maui, HI -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Kahului, HI (KOGG)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
While flying a sightseeing tour over a dense tropical forest the helicopter experienced a total loss of engine power and autorotated into the forest canopy. Forty-four minutes into a 1-hour sightseeing tour the helicopter vibrated, shuddered, and the low rotor rpm warning horn sounded. The pilot entered an autorotation and tried to arrest the helicopter's forward velocity before settling into the treetops. The helicopter dropped nose first towards the forest floor, and came to rest on its right side suspended in the trees a few feet from the ground. During the subsequent engine examination it was determined that a turbine blade from the second stage gas producer turbine had separated from the turbine wheel. A material laboratory analysis determined that the turbine blade failure was a result of a fatigue fracture that was initiated at a corrosion/oxidation pit. As a result of the investigation into the engine failure, the engine manufacturer has reduced the life limit of the second stage turbine blades from 6,000 hours to 3,000 hours, and implemented additional turbine inspection criteria.

Probable Cause: The total loss of engine power due to a fatigue failure of a turbine blade. A factor in the accident was the lack of a suitable forced landing site.


FAA register: 2. FAA:


Revision history:

15-Jul-2014 19:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jul-2014 19:39 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
05-Dec-2017 09:01 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
12-Jan-2020 17:23 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Location, Source]

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