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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 70245
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS65 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale SA 365N1 Dauphin 2
Owner/operator:Norsk Luftambulanse
Registration: LN-OPJ
MSN: 6228
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lake Vågåvannet -   Norway
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Dombås
Destination airport:
The operator had specific requirements that crewmembers should perform training every 6 months on picking up people from the water using the helicopter. In connection with such training, LN-OPJ flew from its base at Dombås to lake Vågåvannet where ice had not yet formed for the winter. After arrival in Vågå, the first flight involved flying over the water with the Rescueman suspended below the helicopter on a rope 33 m in length. After that, the plan was that the Rescueman wearing a drysuit, would jump from the helicopter cabin into the water. When the Rescueman jumped, from an estimated height of 2 u2013 3 m, the crew heard a loud bang and the helicopter began rotating anticlockwise around the main rotor mast. The Commander realised that something had happened to the tail rotor and brought the helicopter down gently into the water approx. 250 m from the shore. The helicopter rolled over onto its left side and sank. None of the three on board were injured and the Rescueman was subsequently able to help the Commander and the Doctor up onto the helicopter which rested on the bottom and remained partially above the surface of the water.

The AIBN believes that the accident was a result of the tail section inadvertently hitting the water, or came so close to the water, that water was sucked through the tail rotor and it became overloaded. The overload led to a fracture of the tail rotor drive shaft and subsequent loss of control over the helicopter. Contributory causes for the helicopter coming too low included a lack of good visual references for judging height.

Significant findings
a) The operator had no procedures to prevent the helicopter coming too close to the surface of the water in Rescue Rope Operations. Consequently, the Commander's assessment of height under difficult visibility conditions became absolutely crucial in preventing the tail rotor from inadvertently coming too close to the water.
b) The helicopter was not equipped for an emergency landing on water. Nor did the Commander and the Doctor have lifevests or other clothing designed for that purpose, and were consequently poorly prepared for a potential emergency landing on water. The cold water and the low air temperature might, as a result, have been life threatening for those two.


Revision history:

01-Dec-2009 11:52 harro Added
16-Jan-2014 08:30 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
17-Apr-2016 14:16 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]

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