Questions Persist About Glasgow Helicopter Crash

AINsafety » February 24, 2014
February 24, 2014, 2:45 PM

The continuing investigation into the crash of an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 29 last year has yet to explain why pumps that would have transferred fuel from the aircraft’s main tanks to its supply tanks were not activated. An interim report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that both of the aircraft’s fuel transfer pumps were found in the “off” position after the fatal crash. According to a helicopter pilot familiar with the EC135 speaking to AIN on condition of anonymity, with both transfer pumps turned off and the engines still consuming fuel, the supply tanks would eventually have emptied, flaming out both Turbomeca engines. The interim report highlighted the fact that there were still 25 gallons of fuel in the main tanks at the time of the accident. However, such fuel is useless if it stays in the main tank without being transferred to the supply tanks, according to the pilot. The aircraft’s primary pumps were found in the “on” position, although their activation may have been superfluous in this flight phase, the pilot said. Asked why the interim report does not elaborate on the deactivated pumps, an AAIB spokeswoman suggested that this issue will be addressed in the final report. The accident killed 10 people when the helicopter crashed into a busy bar, the Clutha Vaults. All three occupants, one pilot and two police officers, were among the fatalities. The accident seriously injured another 11 people in the pub. Bond Air Services operated the EC135 for the Scottish police service.

 

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