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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 64772
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Type:Westland Scout AH.1
Owner/operator:British Army Air Corps
Registration: XP908
MSN: F9509
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:New TerrItories, along the Hong Kong/China border -   Hong Kong
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sek Kong, Hong Kong
Destination airport:
A BRITISH Army Westland Scout AH.l crashed into a marsh in Hong Kong after the tail rotor struck the surface during a low hover. The Scout, XP908, was based at Sek Kong. On August 14, 1980, the pilot was tasked to assist ground forces in ant-iillegal immigrant (II) operations in the extensive marsh area on the border between Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China. An aircrewman and an infantry officer made up the Scout's crew. Their task was to spot II's crossing the border and direct ground forces to intercept them.

Just after arriving in the operational area, the pilot was asked to assist in the capture of an II who had been evading the ground forces for three hours. After locating this II, the pilot put the Scout into a low hover, positioning the helicopter so the aircrewman, sitting in the back, could lean out and pull the II on board. But the fugitive submerged and swam away and kept on doing this every time an attempt was made to grab him. The pilot then manoeuvred the Scout to one side to consider the situation. As he did so the II was seen to swim towards the tail end.

Almost immediately, a muffled bang was heard and the Scout swung to the right and continued to rotate at an increasing rate. Finding his pedals ineffective, the pilot carried out his emergency procedures. He closed the throttle and used collective to cushion the impact and the Scout settled in four feet of water.

During the rotation the aircrewman, who was not wearing a restraining harness, was half ejected, and half flung himself from the aircraft. He lay winded against a mud bank until the Scout had stopped moving. The pilot and the other occupant left the aircraft as soon as the main rotor stopped. No one was injured and the elusive II was later captured by the ground forces. Investigation revealed that the rotary transformer bracket on the tail boom had sheared from the fuselage frame. This caused the coupling rings on the front end of the transformer to fail. As a result there was a complete loss of drive to the tail rotor, causing the sudden and uncontrollable rotation.

Examination showed that the transformer mounting bracket was sheared by shock loading. Although there was no damage to the tail rotor blades, a restriction in the pitch-change mechanism was typical of damage caused by tail-rotor impact. Eyewitnesses said that the tail rotor had rapped the water and that the Scout appeared to be under control until then




Photo of XP908 courtesy

Middle Wallop (EGVP)
26 July 1979; (c) Lewis Grant

Revision history:

02-Nov-2011 16:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
02-Nov-2011 16:22 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
23-Mar-2015 20:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]

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