AW139 Makes Emergency Landing in Louisiana

 - September 26, 2022, 12:10 PM
All survive after Bristow medevac flight experiences cockpit smoke and loss of flight controls, resulting in an emergency landing at Houma-Terrebonne Airport on Sept. 24, 2022 (Photo: Houma Fire Department)

A Leonardo AW139 registered as N811TA and operated by Bristow Helicopters made an emergency landing at Houma-Terrebonne (Louisiana) Airport on Saturday night at 6:14 p.m. local time. The helicopter was a reported medevac flight inbound from the Bootheville area with six aboard when the pilots reported both flight control issues and heavy smoke in the cockpit.

The local fire department responded and was in position when the aircraft landed on the airport runway and then skidded onto the adjacent turf, remaining upright. Some of the helicopter’s occupants were transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries, and the aircraft received substantial damage. 

Various reports indicate the helicopter had an electrical fire, loss of essential bus, and flight control problems at 6,000 feet and 185 knots. The pilots maintained control by cycling between the idle and fly settings on the engine mode, orbiting the airport, and then landed after retarding the engines and performing a high-speed flare at low altitude. The impact collapsed the main landing gear. The helicopter was painted in the livery of Era Helicopters. Era and Bristow merged in 2020.