|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : gls|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 900
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 6000
flight time type : 200
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
none taken : detected after the fact
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
During the second leg of a 1+40 offshore flight, I had been circling a platform (right turn) 10 mins awaiting a helicopter that was refueling to depart so that I could land. I received a call to go to another platform for a passenger pickup. I rolled into a left turn to head for the other platform when I felt a sudden vibration of about 2 seconds duration. Immediately, I turned back to the first platform to land. The refueling aircraft was departing. Landing was uneventful. Post flight inspection revealed that the left hand engine cowling had opened in flight striking the rotor blades. Both latches were missing off the cowling. The rotor blades were scratched but repairable. These older cowling latches have a reputation for failing. We've had one previous fall off an aircraft. Post-flight revealed a cracked latch on the left side transmission cowling. There is an improved version latch made. We've had these latches back-ordered for 7 months. Manufacturer needs to increase production to get these latches to the operators.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ENGINE COWL CAME LOOSE AND HIT HELICOPTER ROTOR BLADE.
Narrative: DURING THE SECOND LEG OF A 1+40 OFFSHORE FLT, I HAD BEEN CIRCLING A PLATFORM (RIGHT TURN) 10 MINS AWAITING A HELI THAT WAS REFUELING TO DEPART SO THAT I COULD LAND. I RECEIVED A CALL TO GO TO ANOTHER PLATFORM FOR A PAX PICKUP. I ROLLED INTO A LEFT TURN TO HEAD FOR THE OTHER PLATFORM WHEN I FELT A SUDDEN VIBRATION OF ABOUT 2 SECS DURATION. IMMEDIATELY, I TURNED BACK TO THE FIRST PLATFORM TO LAND. THE REFUELING ACFT WAS DEPARTING. LNDG WAS UNEVENTFUL. POST FLT INSPECTION REVEALED THAT THE LEFT HAND ENG COWLING HAD OPENED IN FLT STRIKING THE ROTOR BLADES. BOTH LATCHES WERE MISSING OFF THE COWLING. THE ROTOR BLADES WERE SCRATCHED BUT REPAIRABLE. THESE OLDER COWLING LATCHES HAVE A REPUTATION FOR FAILING. WE'VE HAD ONE PREVIOUS FALL OFF AN ACFT. POST-FLT REVEALED A CRACKED LATCH ON THE LEFT SIDE XMISSION COWLING. THERE IS AN IMPROVED VERSION LATCH MADE. WE'VE HAD THESE LATCHES BACK-ORDERED FOR 7 MONTHS. MANUFACTURER NEEDS TO INCREASE PRODUCTION TO GET THESE LATCHES TO THE OPERATORS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.