The Eurocopter EC135 light twin that crashed into a busy pub on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, was intact when it hit the roof, but neither the main rotor nor the fenestron tail rotor were rotating at that time, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch preliminary report reveals. The helicopter had been flying for one hour and 33 minutes when the pilot requested clearance to return to Glasgow City Heliport. No further radio transmission was received.
Four minutes later, radar contact was lost and the helicopter was seen and heard by a witness who described hearing a noise like a loud “misfiring car,” followed by silence. The helicopter struck the roof with a high rate of descent and negligible forward speed.
Investigators have found no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engine. Moreover, the main rotor gearbox retained its ability to provide drive from the number-two engine power turbine to the main rotor and to the fenestron drive shaft, they said. Twenty-five gallons of fuel remained in the tank.
The crash killed nine and injured 32.