TAIC Report on fatal crash of helicopter

Published: Tue 26 Jun 2018 09:43 AM
TAIC Report on fatal crash of helicopter whilst fighting 2017 Port Hills wildfires
The fatal crash of a firefighting helicopter during the February 2017 Port Hills wildfires is the subject of a Transport Accident Investigation Commission report published today.
Captain Tim Burfoot, the Chief Investigator of Accidents says the AS350 ‘Squirrel’ helicopter was on its way to refill its monsoon bucket when it encountered turbulence and wind shear, and a side window dislodged into the cabin and flew out of an open door.
“All the doors on the pilot’s side had been removed to make it easier for the pilot to see the monsoon bucket. The doors on the left side were closed. This door configuration was prohibited in the flight manual,” said Capt. Burfoot.
The Commission found that it was about as likely as not that the door configuration contributed to the fluctuating pressure caused by the forward airspeed and turbulence, and that this likely forced the side window panel into the cabin interior and ejecting out through the open side door.
“The pilot reduced speed, causing the tail rotor to dip. The monsoon bucket swung up and backward, and the bucket line damaged the tail rotor assembly. This made the helicopter uncontrollable and it crashed. The pilot was fatally injured,” said Capt. Burfoot.
Key lessons from this accident are that:
• Vigilance during turbulence is vital
• Pilots should understand the reasons for, and observe, the limitations of the aircraft they are flying
• To help prevent future accidents, operators should record and investigate all operational incidents
• Performance-impairing substances such as recreational drugs pose a serious risk to aviation safety. Their short- and long-term effects may be unpredictable and result in pilots being impaired when flying their aircraft. [The Commission found that it was very unlikely that the pilot’s recent use of cannabis impaired his performance at the time of the accident.]
The Final Report is available on the Transport Accident Investigation Commission website:

Next in New Zealand politics

Jacinda Ardern’s remarks following summit
By: New Zealand Government
NZTA Board refreshed and refocused
By: New Zealand Government
Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Assessment Framework
By: New Zealand Government
Mana whenua reach decision on Ihumātao land
PM to visit Japan and attend the UN General Assembly
By: New Zealand Government
PM's Post-Cab 16/9/19: A Way Forward
By: The Scoop Team
Gordon Campbell on allegations of left wing media bias
By: Gordon Campbell
Tighter gun laws for the safety of all
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand-Japan relationship strengthened
By: New Zealand Government
eGates open to Japanese travellers
By: New Zealand Government
Twyford is the issue, not the board
By: New Zealand National Party
Too little too late for funding switch from rail to road
By: New Zealand National Party
First national voluntary emissions offset guidelines
By: New Zealand Government
NCCRA a start but local focus needed
Forest & Bird calls for urgent action on ocean acidity
By: Forest And Bird
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media