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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 152197
Last updated: 15 September 2021
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Time:12:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter EC 130B4
Owner/operator:Air Methods Corp (AMC)
Registration: N334AM
MSN: 4694
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:NE of Seminole (KSRE), OK -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Seminole, OK (KSRE)
Destination airport:Okemah, OK
The pilot reported hearing a sound like something had struck the helicopter shortly after departure while about 1,600 to 1,700 feet mean sea level. The engine lost power, and the pilot performed an autorotation to a field. While maneuvering to land, he saw a barbed wire fence obstructing the intended landing area, so he maneuvered the helicopter to clear the fence. The helicopter subsequently cleared the fence and landed hard in a field.
Engine examination revealed that the four axial compressor blades exhibited significant deformation on the outboard tips of their leading edges in the direction opposite of normal rotation consistent with the ingestion of soft body foreign object debris, such as ice. A subsequent engine run did not detect any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. For 3 days before the accident flight, the helicopter was parked outside without its engine cover installed and was exposed to light drizzle, rain, mist, and fog. The engine inlet cover was installed the day before the accident at an unknown time. The helicopter remained outside and exposed to freezing temperatures throughout the night until 2 hours before the flight. Although the helicopter was maintained in a ready status on the helipad and maintenance personnel performed daily preflight/airworthiness checks, the inlet to the first-stage of the axial compressor was not inspected to ensure that it was free of ice in accordance with the Aircraft Maintenance Manual. Based on the weather conditions that the helicopter was exposed to during the 3 days before the accident, it is likely that ice formed in the engine air inlet before the flight and that, when the pilot increased the engine power during takeoff, the accumulated ice separated from the inlet and was ingested by the engine and damaged the compressor blades.
Probable Cause: The loss of engine power due to ice ingestion. Contributing to the accident was maintenance personnelís delayed decision to install the helicopter's engine inlet cover until after the engine had been exposed to moisture and freezing temperatures and their inadequate daily preflight/airworthiness checks, which did not detect the ice formation.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

03-Jan-2013 02:53 gerard57 Added
03-Jan-2013 02:54 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator]
03-Jan-2013 17:05 Geno Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2013 22:32 Geno Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
06-Mar-2013 14:07 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
04-Aug-2014 06:20 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
30-Oct-2014 17:28 TB Updated [Aircraft type]
29-Mar-2015 12:57 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:05 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
02-Jan-2019 19:50 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Embed code]
02-Jan-2020 17:35 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Source, Embed code, Damage]

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