Aviation Investigation Report A05F0025

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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Hydraulic Flight Control Malfunction
Vancouver Island Helicopters
Eurocopter AS 350 B2 (Helicopter) C-GNMJ
Kamarang, Guyana
06 February 2005


At 1725 local time, the pilot of the Eurocopter AS 350 B2 helicopter (registration C-GNMJ, serial number 2829) with a 120-foot longline attached, entered a stable, out-of-ground-effect hover to begin coiling the longline onto the ground below the helicopter. As the pilot gradually descended, and at a height of about 10 feet above ground level, he experienced significant binding in the flight controls. The pilot was unable to rectify the control binding and had considerable difficulty maintaining attitude and altitude control of the helicopter. During 15 seconds of random, uncontrolled hover flight, the helicopter turned and climbed to about 20 feet above ground level, whereupon the pilot retarded the throttle lever, causing the main rotor rpm to decay rapidly. As a result, the helicopter descended quickly, struck the ground, bounced, and landed upright, causing substantial damage to the skids, the tail boom, and the main rotor head. The pilot was not injured and the impact forces were insufficient to activate the emergency locator transmitter.

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© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2007
    Cat. No. TU3-5/05-4E
    ISBN 978-0-662-47572-9