Accident Aerospatiale AS 350D C-GBRC,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 342826
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Date:Monday 19 January 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Aerospatiale AS 350D
Owner/operator:BigHorn Aviation Inc.
Registration: C-GBRC
MSN: 1150
Year of manufacture:1979
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Cranbrook VOR Site -   Canada
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: TSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Following a 15-minute shutdown at the helipad at the Cranbrook VOR site, at about 7,500 feet above sea level (asl), the pilot of the ski-equipped Eurocopter AS-350D helicopter, loaded his two passengers and started the helicopter. After an unremarkable starting sequence, at about 1710 Mountain standard time (MST), the pilot lifted the helicopter into a five-foot hover for about 30 seconds and verified that flight control responses and all engine, transmission and rotor indications were normal. The pilot then turned the helicopter to the left and transitioned into climbing, forward flight. At about 80 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot experienced a sudden and uncommanded rotor revolutions per minute (rpm) decay and the helicopter began to descend. The pilot pushed forward on the cyclic stick and lowered the collective lever in an attempt to regain rotor rpm. He was unable to recover the rotor rpm, however, and, with a forced landing on the downward-sloping surface inevitable, the pilot flared the helicopter at about 30 feet agl, levelled the helicopter, and landed straight ahead into deep snow. The helicopter touched down at about 10 knots, but it slid forward
over a steeper area and rolled over onto its right side. The three occupants escaped through the left door without injury or difficulty. The helicopter was substantially damaged but there was no fire. Although armed for flight, the onboard emergency locator transmitter (ELT) did not activate. The pilot and passengers then walked back to the VOR site and reported the accident; about two hours later, they were rescued by volunteers on snowmobiles from Cranbrook.

Causes and Contributing Factors
The main rotor rpm suddenly decayed at an altitude, airspeed, and power demand combination that did not permit the pilot to effectively recover the rpm and continue flight. As a result, he was committed to perform a forced landing on a downward-sloping surface. The cause of the loss of rotor rpm could not be determined.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TSB
Report number: A98P0022
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


CADORS 1998P0038

Revision history:

23-Oct-2023 19:31 harro Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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