Two Fatal Accidents, Three Deaths and Four Serious Injuries

Regrettably the July AAIB Bulletin contains details of two fatal accidents involving the deaths of three people and the serious injury of four passengers.  

A Sud-Aviation SE-313B Alouette II helicopter crashed at Breighton, killing the 36 year old pilot (708 hours, 164 on type and 8 in the past 28 days) and severely injuring all four passengers. The helicopter flew along the runway at about 30 ft agl and carried out a quick stop. A pitch up attitude of about 45 deg appears to have been achieved as the helicopter flared, then, as it levelled, the rotor blades struck the tail boom. The helicopter rotated to the right through 180 deg and dropped vertically to the ground. The report concludes that it is probable that whilst a quick stop was carried out, coarse control inputs associated with the dynamic manoeuvre caused the main rotor disc to contact the tail boom.  

A Rans S6-ESD (Modified) Coyote II piloted by its new owner, 64 years with 185 hours (8 on type and 10 in the past 28 days) appeared to be manoeuvring at low speed in the circuit at Shifnal Airfield. While apparently repositioning for an approach the aircraft was observed to stall and possibly enter a spin. It did not recover before striking the surface in a steep nose-down attitude in a field to the south-east of the airfield. Both the passenger and the pilot died.  

A review of records revealed that sixteen Rans S6 accidents have been investigated in the UK by the AAIB since 1994. As a result, the Light Aircraft Association is conducting a review of accident data on the aircraft type.  

GASCo commiserates sincerely with the seriously injured passengers and the family and friends of the three who died. We must all work harder to reduce the frequency of these tragedies.  

Of the remaining six accident reports, four are landing accidents including one following a gear failure and one where issues are raised regarding an instructor flying as a ‘safety pilot’. There is one take off accident which vividly illustrates the importance of a ‘controls full and free’ check just before take off.  

Finally there is a forced landing of a Jodel D119  whose engine failed on the crosswind leg after take off. The pilot (57 years, 346 hours, 131 on type and 0 in the past 28 days) flew the Jodel all the way to the ground which happened to be a field of rape seed. The aircraft overturned on landing but the pilot was uninjured. Well done that man!