March 8, 2007, Princeville, Hawaii, Aerospatiale AS350BA


The helicopter was substantially damaged at 1502 Hawaii time when it collided with terrain following a loss of control while landing. The Airline Transport pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; three additional passengers were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the local air tour flight conducted under FAR 135.

The pilot contacted the company base by radio at about 1455, announcing, “Im having hydraulic problems, and Im probably going to have to do a run-on landing.” As the radio conversation with the pilot continued, his description changed from “hydraulic problem” to “hydraulic failure.” As the helicopter approached the ground, the pilot stated, “Okay were done.” Then, the sound of the rotor changed pitch and the helicopter impacted the ground. Examination of the wreckage revealed the hydraulic reservoir was full, but the sight glass was fractured and seeping. The hydraulic pump was intact, with the drivebelt attached. Further examination revealed that the lower clevis of the left lateral servo was still attached to the transmission case, but was no longer attached to the servo. Closer examination revealed that the threads on the clevis, as well as the threads on the inner diameter of the servo, appeared undamaged. The jam nut, the lock nut and the safety wire were still attached to the clevis threads and free to rotate.


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