Goodwood helicopter crash was training exercise that 'went wrong'

A helicopter crash which seriously injured two people was a training exercise that went wrong, a report has said.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 12:33 pm
Emergency services at the scene. Picture by Jack Chiverton

The accident took place on June 8 last year and saw both occupants of the helicopter rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

An investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found the crash came following a simulated engine failure as part of a skills test.

The aircraft, a Guimbal Cabri G2 was damaged 'beyond economic repair'.

A summary of the report reads: "While conducting a simulated engine failure from the hover, the helicopter yawed rapidly to the left. Despite the actions of the pilots the helicopter continued to yaw rapidly and control was not recovered.

"The helicopter was seen to climb while spinning before descending rapidly and contacting the ground, sustaining severe damage."

An attempt to land the helicopter after the simulated engine failure felt 'a bit firm' according to the student pilot who went on to try the manoeuvre again.

The instructor, who had flown six instructional flights with the student prior to the accident, commented that the student was very conscientious and always well prepared but said the student could 'over-analyse' some of his performances and be 'excessively critical' on himself despite the skills demonstrated being generally of an acceptable standard, the report stated.

The AAIB report summer added: "The investigation found that the accident was probably initiated by a premature application of the left yaw pedal and raising the collective lever, before the throttle was fully closed during a simulated engine failure exercise.

"There remained sufficient space within the cabin for the occupants to survive the accident and to allow the first responders to extricate them swiftly without risking further injury. The flexible fuel tank liner had not been compromised and there was no post-crash fire.

"A combination of the energy absorbing seat system and the destruction of the composite fuselage absorbed impact energy such that both occupants survived with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening.

"The helicopter manufacturer has subsequently issued two Service Letters to prevent reoccurrence. One is on throttle management during simulated engine failure. One is on controllability in yaw at low rotor speed."

The aircraft, a Guimbal Cabri G2 was damaged 'beyond economic repair'.