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IHST SAFETY TIP - Follow The Four ‘C’s Helicopter Pilots in Inadvertent IMC Situations

CONTROL - Fly the aircraft. Refocus the scan inside the cockpit to the primary fl ight instruments – airspeed, altitude, and attitude.

CLIMB - As soon as the aircraft is under control by reference to the instruments, should

a controlled be initiated.

a straight ahead controlled climb to an altitude that will provide obstruction clearance in the area of operation. Always review Maximum Elevation Figures (MEF) on VFR charts prior to departure.

climb Inadvertent

IMC encounters often occur at low altitudes where rising terrain poses a serious threat. The pilot should initiate

COURSE - After the aircraft is in a controlled climb, the pilot can elect to turn to a new heading if known obstacles are ahead and/or divert to a diff erent location with forecasted

weather conditions or better known weather conditions.

COMMUNICATE - After the pilot has control of the aircraft, initiated a climb, and is on a course, he or she should communicate with Air Traffi c Control regarding their intentions and need for assistance.

Federal Aviation Administration Monthly Accident & Incident Data for the Month of March 2015

Preliminary Injuries: 1 Fatal

On March 6, 2015, at 2310 central standard time, an Airbus Helicopters

(Eurocopter) EC-

130-B4, N356AM, operated by an EMS provider, struck the edge of a hospital building and impacted its parking lot during a visual approach to the St Louis University Hospital elevated

rooftop helipad

(MO55), St Louis, Missouri. During the approach, the helicopter experienced a loss of directional control and entered an uncontrolled descent. The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash

fi re. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91 as an air medical positioning fl ight that was operating on a company fl ight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The fl ight was returning to MO55 after it had been refueled at the operator’s base in St. Louis, Missouri.

The fl ight’s fi rst approach and landing at MO55 was to drop off a medic, nurse, and a patient. During the approach, the pilot reported to the fl ight

nurse and medic that winds were gusting to 25 knots. The fl ight nurse stated that the helicopter was yawing quite a bit and there was a noticeable roll side to side during landing. The helicopter landed without incident during the fi rst approach and landing. The fl ight then departed to obtain fuel at the operator’s base, and then departed to return to MO55 to pick up the medic and fl ight nurse.

The accident occurred during the return’s approach for landing at MO55.

Examination of the wreckage confi rmed fl ight control continuity

of the tail consistent

drive system and there were indications


engine power on the turbine wheel output shaft.

Preliminary Injuries: 3 Uninjured

On March 13, 2015, about 0715 Alaska daylight time, a turbine- powered

Airbus Helicopters

AS350-B2, N814EH, sustained substantial damage as a result of a tail rotor pitch control failure while en route from Merrill Field, Anchorage, Alaska, to an off airport landing 43


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