ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 219553
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:18:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A109 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Agusta A109S Grand
Owner/operator:Babcock MCS Portugal
Registration: I-EITC
MSN: 22007
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Serra da Santa Justa, Valongo, near Porto -   Portugal
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Massarelos Heliport (LPDA)
Destination airport:Paredes-Baltar Heliport (LPPB)
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Confidence Rating:
An Agusta A109S helicopter with registration I-EITC, after an urgent inter-hospital transport service of the National Medical Emergency Institute (INEM), took off from Massarelos heliport (LPDA) at 18:35 having the destination Macedo de Cavaleiros heliport (LPMC), the aircraft’s operational base location, with a planned technical stop for refuelling at Paredes-Baltar heliport (LPPB).
On board there were two operator’s crew members, a Pilot in Command and a Co-pilot, and two INEM medical crew, a doctor and a nurse, both without technical flight duty assignments.
After the initial climb coordinated with Porto International Airport (LPPR) Air Traffic Control ATC) services, during the en route flight phase with adverse meteorological conditions, between Massarelos heliport and Paredes-Baltar heliport, at 18:40 UTC, the aircraft collides with a radio broadcasting support tower, located in Serra de Santa Justa, Valongo.
After the main rotor blades contacted the tower and its locking wires, the aircraft began a continuous disintegration until finally the main parts crashed on the East slope of the hill, 384 meters from the point of impact. None of the occupants survived the violent ground impact.

The investigation determined as most probable cause for the accident, the aircraft main rotor contact with a radio broadcasting tower.
For the accident, the following factors contributed:
― VFR flight below the minimum altitudes provided in the regulations;
― The crew forcing to maintain visual conditions with the ground, with marginal visibility conditions;
― Operation on heliports without radio aids not allowing non-visual approach up-to a given altitude, compelling conditions for routine violation as per current regulations;
― Due to orography, terrain artificial light conditions and atmospheric conditions, it is likely that the pilot understood that the terrain would be transposed without significant risk;
― The aircraft contractual selection and acceptance with its specified range associated with lack of fuel supply solutions at the origin heliport (Massarelos);
― The lack of night signalling on the nearest lower tower or in at the intermediate level of the accidented tower, as well as the adjacent towers installed in Serra de Santa Justa.


ANPC ___________________________________

Preliminary report



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report



Photo of I-EITC courtesy

Paris - Le Bourget (LFPB / LBG)
20 June 2007; (c) Mick Bajcar

Figure: GPIAAF


Revision history:

16-Dec-2018 02:13 RobertMB Added
16-Dec-2018 05:09 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
16-Dec-2018 05:42 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Total occupants, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:44 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:46 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:46 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:50 RobertMB Updated [Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 09:27 harro Updated [Registration, Operator, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 09:30 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 12:03 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 13:11 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 14:24 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 15:35 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 23:35 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
17-Dec-2018 00:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
17-Dec-2018 10:12 Anon. Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
17-Dec-2018 14:55 RobertMB Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Dec-2018 22:41 Iceman 29 Updated [Narrative, Photo]
17-Dec-2018 22:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo]
19-Dec-2018 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Photo]
19-Dec-2018 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo]
20-Dec-2018 19:26 Anon. Updated [Location]
20-Dec-2018 19:26 harro Updated [Location]
20-Dec-2018 20:50 Anon. Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Dec-2018 00:09 Geno Updated [Destination airport]
18-Mar-2019 14:22 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
14-Mar-2020 17:54 harro Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report, ]
14-Mar-2020 17:58 harro Updated [Photo, Accident report, ]
05-Apr-2020 11:41 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source]
05-Apr-2020 12:25 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
05-Apr-2020 12:26 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Embed code]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2022 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314