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AS65, vicinity North Morecambe Platform Irish Sea UK, 2006 (HF LOC)
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|On 27 December 2006, an AS365 Dauphin 2, operated by CHC Scotia, crashed into the sea adjacent to a gas platform in Morecambe Bay, UK, at night, following loss of control.|
|Event Type||HF, LOC|
|Aircraft||AEROSPATIALE AS-365 Dauphin 2|
|Type of Flight||Public Transport (Passenger)|
|Approx.||North Morecombe gaz platform, Morecambe Bay, Irish Sea, UK|
|Tag(s)|| Flight Control Error|
|Damage or injury||Yes|
|Aircraft damage||Hull loss|
|Fatalities||Most or all occupants|
|Causal Factor Group(s)|
|Group(s)|| Aircraft Operation|
The following are extracts from the Synopsis of the Accident Report published by the AAIB UK:
"…The helicopter departed Blackpool at 1800 hrs on a scheduled flight consisting of eight sectors within the Morecambe Bay gas field. The first two sectors were completed without incident but, when preparing to land on the North Morecambe platform, in the dark, the helicopter flew past the platform and struck the surface of the sea. The fuselage disintegrated on impact and the majority of the structure sank. Two fast response craft from a multipurpose standby vessel, which was on position close to the platform, arrived at the scene of the accident 16 minutes later. There were no survivors amongst the five passengers or two crew.
The investigation identified the following contributory factors:
- The co-pilot was flying an approach to the North Morecambe platform at night, in poor weather conditions, when he lost control of the helicopter and requested assistance from the commander. The transfer of control was not precise and the commander did not take control until approximately four seconds after the initial request for help. The commander’s initial actions to recover the helicopter were correct but the helicopter subsequently descended into the sea.
- The approach profile flown by the co-pilot suggests a problem in assessing the correct approach descent angle, probably, as identified in trials by the CAA, because of the limited visual cues available to him.
- An appropriate synthetic training device for the SA365N was available but it was not used; the extensive benefits of conducting training and checking in such an environment were therefore missed."
NTSB Safety Alerts on General Aviation risks