Serious incident Eurocopter MBB-BK 117 C-1 N271NE,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 314561
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Date:Saturday 4 December 2010
Time:09:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BK17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter MBB-BK 117 C-1
Owner/operator:Era Med LLC
Registration: N271NE
MSN: 7543
Year of manufacture:2002
Total airframe hrs:4959 hours
Engine model:Turbomeca Ariel 1E2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Boston, Massachusetts -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Oak Bluffs, MA
Destination airport:Boston, MA (MA39)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During the air ambulance flight, the helicopter was on final approach to land when smoke and flames were observed emanating from the suction control mounted on the left side of the cabin. The fire was subsequently extinguished, and the pilot landed the helicopter without further incident. Postincident examination revealed fire damage on the face of an overhead medical cabinet that was part of a medical interior installed about 7.5 years prior to the incident per a supplemental type certificate. A sheathed wiring bundle for a 120-volt alternating current power outlet mounted in the aft end of the cabinet displayed chafing damage and arcing consistent with rubbing on the metal housing for the vacuum control switch. The wiring was installed without adequate clearance or support to prevent it from chafing on the switch housing. The helicopter was maintained under an approved inspection program; however, review of the instructions for continued airworthiness associated with the medical cabinet installation did not reveal any required inspections of the associated wiring harnesses for general condition or chafing.

Probable Cause: Improper installation of wiring associated with a medical cabinet interior, which resulted in chafing and a subsequent in-flight fire. Contributing to the incident was inadequate maintenance procedures for continued airworthiness.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA11IA091
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year 1 month
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

02-Jun-2023 18:37 ASN Update Bot Added

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