Canadian Safety Board Casts Wide Blame In S-92A Crash

 - February 11, 2011, 10:15 AM

Canadaπs Transportation Safety Board (TSB) yesterday issued its final report on the fatal accident of a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland that killed 17 on March 12, 2009. The helicopter crashed while attempting to ditch after its main gearbox lubrication system failed due to two cracked oil filter bowl mounting studs. The TSB found fault with all parties involved: the FAA for certifying the S-92A without the helicopter being able to fly for at least 30 minutes without main gearbox lubrication; Sikorsky for designing the S-92A with titanium alloy oil filter bowl mounting studs that could not withstand the rigors of the helicopterπs frequent oil changes; and Cougar for its inadequate maintenance procedures and pilot training. The TSB recommended that Sikorsky modify all S-92As to meet a 30-minute "run dry" standard for gearboxes; that the FAA evaluate if even a 30-minute standard is adequate; that helicopters not be operated over water when sea states are likely to overwhelm their emergency flotation systems; and that emergency breathing equipment be carried on flights that require survival suits.