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Tail-rotor driveshaft departs 407 in flight

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Tail-rotor driveshaft departs 407 in flight

Old 9th Sep 2023, 01:17
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Tail-rotor driveshaft departs 407 in flight

From PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC): https://aic.gov.pg/investigation/834

"Loss of Tail Rotor Thrust – Inflight
Occurrence Details
On 18 February 2023, at about 11:40 local time (01:40 UTC1), a Bell 407 helicopter, registered P2-HSM, owned and operated by Heli-Solutions, was conducting a single pilot VFR2 passenger charter flight from Epopi Village to Wapenamanda Airport in Enga Province, when the helicopter experienced a complete loss of tail rotor thrust inflight resulting in an emergency landing about 3.5 nautical miles (NM) Northwest of Wapenamanda Airport.

Figure 1: Overview of the P2-HSM accident flight and landing site

According to the Spidertracks3 recorded data, the helicopter departed from Epopi Village at 11:20, climbed to an altitude of 9,000 ft AMSL and then tracked Southeast of Epopi to Wapenamanda Airport. The pilot stated during interview with the AIC, that there was no significant weather along the route.
The pilot stated that he made an all stations radio broadcast reporting that he was 9 NM to west of Wapenamanda Airport, maintaining 9,000 ft. Following the broadcast, the pilot heard a sudden loud noise from the back of the helicopter. The pilot stated that he suspected it had emanated from the tail rotor. About 30 seconds later, he heard another loud bang from the back followed by severe vibration. The helicopter subsequently began pitching down and spinning.
The pilot stated that as soon as he realized that he had lost tail rotor authority, he decided to conduct an emergency landing. The helicopter was found to be at least 1,000 ft above ground level (AGL) at the time of the tail rotor failure. He actioned the Bell Helicopter manufacturer’s Manual, Complete Loss of Tail Rotor Thrust Emergency checklist. The pilot landed the helicopter on a local garden in Kuimanda Village, about 3.5 NM Northwest of Wapenamanda Airport.
The pilot subsequently shut down the helicopter. The load master assisted the passengers to evacuate and move them away from the helicopter. The pilot subsequently called the Operator’s base in Mt Hagen to advise them of the accident.
1 The 24-hour clock, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), is used in this report to describe the local time as specific events occurred.
Local time in the area of the serious incident, Papua New Guinea Time (Pacific/Port Moresby) is UTC + 10 hours.
2 Visual Flight Rules: Those rules as prescribed by national authority for visual flight, with corresponding relaxed requirements for flight instruments (Source: The Cambridge Aerospace Dictionary)
3 A satellite tracking device for aircraft. This enables the aircraft’s position to be monitored from an internet connected device. It includes an ‘SOS’ button, which can be manually activated by the crew in an emergency.

Figure 2: Overview of P2-HSM flight path from 9nm to the Landing site

During post-landing inspection, the pilot found that the tail rotor shaft was missing. The tail rotor shaft was later recovered by locals about 500 m from the point of landing.
No injuries were reported, however, the pilot and load master were transported to Mt. Hagen for medical attention at a Private Clinic.
Wreckage Distribution and Damages
The tail rotor shaft housing and tail rotor shaft assembly sustained significant damage.

Figure 3: P2-HSM wreckage distribution and the damages sustained

AIC comment
The investigation is continuing, and will include but not limited to flight operations, helicopter’s systems, performance, airworthiness and serviceability, airstrip conditions, weather and organisational aspects, to the appropriate extent.
The investigation analysis and findings will be included in the Final Report.
Safety Actions
At the time of the issue of this Preliminary report, no safety actions had been taken.
At the time of the issue of this Preliminary Report, no Recommendation had been made by the PNG AIC"
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 02:41
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Nice job.

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Old 9th Sep 2023, 03:59
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Well done that pilot.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 12:44
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i m impressed that he got out the checklist and actioned it , or is that lost in translation as i would suspect he knew what to do, anyway impressive that ac on the ground and he walked away !!!
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 12:48
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Originally Posted by Hughes500
i m impressed that he got out the checklist and actioned it , or is that lost in translation as i would suspect he knew what to do, anyway impressive that ac on the ground and he walked away !!!
Pretty sure they speak English in PNG so no translation required! It says he actioned the checklist, not read it.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 13:31
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Way back when, around 1972, I was in a an almost new Kiowa supporting troops around Putty. Down in the weeds when I felt a low rumble - reckoned in was the main gear box.
told the top cover Huey that I needed to land ASAP - they guided me to a fire trail around the corner.
Rumble got louder, threw it on the ground, rolled engine back to idle - and the main rotor stopped !
but it wasn’t the tranny - a hangar medivac bearing had seized - the driveshaft was black and twisted out of shape. Must have just about to have snapped.
the Huey hoisted me up and took me back to Richmond.
after they dropped me off they headed out on another task.
I would have loved to buy them more than a few beers so if this rings a bell with anyone please msg me - it’s never too late to say thanks !

ps for some strange reason, when I send this it inserts”medivac”” after bearing ….
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 14:50
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Originally Posted by 212man
Pretty sure they speak English in PNG so no translation required! It says he actioned the checklist, not read it.
Maybe he was very procedurally orientated?
Having dislocated his arm so he could reach around behind his seat, whipped out the FM, thumbed across to section 3, off to page 11.
skipped through hovering, to inflight and entered into an auto.

Not sure it can technically be considered a checklist if there is only one line item
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 15:48
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i was being sarcastic !
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 15:54
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Rotor inertia for the win. Nice work on the pilot, too.
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 02:19
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Helicopter crash lands in PNG's Enga Province

Saturday, February 18, 2023 Headlines, PNG NewsA helicopter belonging to Heli Solutions, crash landed at Kuimimanda, in the Kaikin Pausa area of the Wapenamanda District of Enga Province, Papua New Guinea today.

The helicopter was flown by retired army colonel, Captain Charlie Andrews.

Captain Andrews, when speaking to NBC News in Mount Hagen, said that he was returning from Enopi in the jungles of the Laigaim District of Enga and East Sepik Province, after dropping off some medical supplies.

He said that he had a total of 6 passengers including himself, and this included two patients and their two care takers, his load master and himself.

Captain Andrews said that they were travelling back from Enopi, when a mechanical fault struck the back propeller, and this forced him to crash land on top of a garden.

He also thanked members of the Mobile Squad 11 and Military Personnel, who were able to rescue them, and transported them to Mt. Hagen for medical checks.

Security personnel are still guarding the crashed chopper, while awaiting the company to retrieve it.

An investigation will determine the cause of the crash, over the next few days."

If I remember rightly, Charlie Andrews was the pilot hijacked in an AS350 by a local bank robbing gang, to rob the local BSP bank in Port Moresby some years ago.
Footage of it can be seen if you search youtube for "Worlds toughest cops" show (PNG episode) hosted by Vinne Jones.
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 02:48
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Here is the story:

5 killed in gun battle as police thwart a bank robbery in Papua New Guinea

By Deseret News
Dec 17, 1999, 8:00pm GMT+12Reuters News Service
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea -- Five men were shot dead in a gun battle with police in Port Moresby today after hijacking a helicopter and landing it on the roof of a bank in a raid in the heart of the Papua New Guinea capital, police said.

The men, armed with rifles, pistols and hand grenades and all dressed in army uniforms, landed on the PNG Banking Corp. building around 11 a.m. and made their way into the bank. Once inside the bank, they fired several shots into the walls.

But police had been tipped off, and undercover police officers inside the bank returned fire, forcing the gunmen to retreat to their helicopter on the roof.

"The criminals then tried to escape in the chopper, but a large police presence outside the bank premises shot the craft as it was ascending, causing it to crash on the road," Police Chief Superintendent Raphael Huafolo said in a statement.

"The criminals scrambled out of the wreckage and tried to attack a massive police pack. All five suspects involved in the robbery incident were killed in the gun battle with police."

The pilot, who had been hijacked from nearby Port Moresby airport, managed to flee the wreckage unharmed.

During the gun battle in downtown Port Moresby, shoppers and office workers fled in fear. Fire trucks had been parked near the bank out of concern the bank robbers would use explosives.

Despite their army uniforms and arms, police said the five men were well-known criminals. One had been wanted for shooting at a police helicopter several weeks ago.

Crime is endemic in Port Moresby, where criminal gangs known as "Raskols" operate freely. Homes, hotels and diplomatic missions are all surrounded by razor wire and gun battles between police and criminals are not uncommon.
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