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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43438
 
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Date:04-NOV-1988
Time:06:51
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS55 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 355F-1
Owner/operator:Era Helicopters
Registration: N355EH
MSN: 5137
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:W. Cameron 617 , Gulf of Mexico -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Offshore
Departure airport:W. Cameron 617 , GM
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
ACFT WAS DEPARTING AN ELEVATED HELIDECK ON AN OFFSHORE PRODUCTION PLATFORM WHEN IT EXPERIENCED A COMPLETE LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR THRUST AND ACFT CONTROL DUE TO A FAILURE OF THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE SHAFT. THE FAILURE OCCURRED AS THE PLT INITIATED HIS TAKEOFF WITH THE ACFT HAVING JUST CLEARED THE DECK AND RECOVERY WAS NOT POSSIBLE. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE DRIVE SHAFT HAD FAILED AS A RESULT OF FATIGUE CRACKING IN AN AREA OF FRETTING WHERE THE SHAFT WAS BONDED AND BOLTED TO ITS COUPLING. THIS AND PREVIOUS FAILURES IN THE SAME AREA INDICATED THAT THE SHAFT WAS UNDER DESIGNED FOR THE APPLICATION AND NORMAL OPERATING STRESSES. SHAFT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RE-DESIGNED AND THE FLEET RETROFITTED. CAUSE: THE LOSS OF CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT WHICH OCCURRED WHEN THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE SHAFT EXPERIENCED A FATIGUE INDUCED MATERIAL FAILURE AND TAIL ROTOR THRUST WAS LOST. EVIDENCE INDICATED THAT THE SHAFT WAS UNDER DESIGNED FOR THE LOADS THAT WERE ENCOUNTERED DURING NORMAL OPERATIONS.

Sources:

NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001213X27246

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation A-91-49 issued 12 July 1991 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-91-50 issued 12 July 1991 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-91-51 issued 12 July 1991 by NTSB to DUKANE CORPORATION


Images:

Photo of N355EH courtesy AirHistory.net


Vancouver - International (CYVR / YVR)
October 1982; (c) Gary Vincent

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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