Early next year, Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline will restart one of the few scheduled public helicopter routes in the world. It discontinued the flight between the neighboring capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia, after the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76C+ (see AIN, October, page 74).
Copterline Flight 103
A malfunction of the flight-control system played a role in the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76 in Estonia, according to an interim report issued by Estonian investigators. The final report is scheduled to be released next spring.
Wreckage of an Era Aviation Sikorsky S-76 was found late last month, two days after it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles south of Galveston, Texas. Several bodies were also recovered. The twin-turbine helicopter, carrying two crew and eight passengers, was en route from Galveston to an oil platform when it went down.
Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline in late December filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Sikorsky, accusing the Stratford, Conn.-based helicopter manufacturer of negligence. Copterline alleges Sikorsky knew that the design of the main rotor servo actuator of the S-76 was unsafe but did not take proper action. The lawsuit further alleges “breaches of warranties, negligence, gross negligence and failure to warn.
Sikorsky S-76, Tallinn, Estonia, Aug. 10, 2005– After taking off from Tallinn, en route to Helsinki, Finland, the Copterline S-76, with two crewmembers and carrying 12 passengers, crashed into the Baltic Sea approximately three miles off the coast. All aboard were killed and the helicopter was destroyed. Gusty conditions were reported.