Sikorsky S-76C++, Morgan City, La., Jan. 4, 2009–The NTSB has released further information about the PHI S-76 crash that killed eight people. A swab taken from the pilot’s-side windshield, which was fractured, was sent to the Smithsonian Institution Feather Identification Lab, which found microscopic remains of a hawk. Investigators found small parts of feathers under a right-side windshield seal and in the folds of the right engine inlet filter.
PHI replaced all of the windshields in its S-76 fleet with an STC’d lighter weight, cast acrylic windshield. The company had replaced the original windshields on the accident helicopter about two years before the accident. A year ago, the windshields were replaced a second time due to cracking.