Eurocopter AS 350BA, Brooklyn, N.Y., May 4, 2004–The NTSB blamed the crash of Helinet Aviation Services’ WNBC News Chopper 4 on the pilot’s failure to maintain control after a loss of hydraulic system pressure.
Helicopter flight controls
Eurocopter is to issue a Service Bulletin that should solve a fleet-wide problem with the EC 145’s tail-rotor controls. In April, the FAA had issued an airworthiness directive (AD) calling for inspections and possible part replacement. The AD followed an in-flight incident that caused severe vibrations.
fter flying the Bell/Agusta AB139, it is easy to see why Amedeo Caporaletti, president of Agusta and CEO of AgustaWestland, believes that this helicopter sets new standards for medium twins. The 13,227-pound-mtow AB139 meets the stringent standards imposed by both the European JARs and FAR Part 29, including all amendments.
Eurocopter is concerned that some pilots could confuse different versions of the AS 350B3 Ecureuil single-turbine helicopter that feature different kinds of engine control. In a mixed-fleet operation, a pilot could use an incorrect procedure after failure of the engine control. Older variants of the twist grip power control present greater risk of error, the manufacturer’s customer support department notes.
A recent report by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows that the pilot of the Robinson R44 flying from a private strip in southern Scotland to Manchester, England, found that hills on his track were obscured by an area of low cloud. Recordings from his GPS showed that as he turned to avoid high ground he increased speed and entered a rapid descent.
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