UK probe could prompt broader use of real-time monitoring systems

An unstable, heavy landing on an oil platform in the North Sea in December 2016 is prompting the helicopter industry to look at the potential of real-time health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS).

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is calling on the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to amend its regulations to require that vibration health monitoring be conducted and analysed in real-time on helicopters, and to make this information available to the crew “at least before takeoff and after landing.”

The AAIB’s request follows publication of its probe of a landing incident involving a CHC Helicopter-operated Sikorsky S-92 on a North Sea platform. In the moments prior to landing, roughly 4 ft. above the helideck, yaw control was lost completely, and the helicopter yawed to the right again.

“The crew landed the helicopter expeditiously, but heavily, on the helideck,” the AAIB’s report states. By the time the crew had closed the throttles, it had come to rest near the edge of the helideck, having turned through approximately 180 deg.

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