Glasgow Investigators Focus On Twin-Engine Flame-Out

By Tony Osborne
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
February 24, 2014

Investigators probing the crash of a police helicopter in Scotland are questioning why both engines flamed out despite the aircraft still having 10-15 min. of fuel left. The Airbus—formerly Eurocopter—EC135T2 operated for Police Scotland by Bond Air Services had been on a routine police mission and was returning back to its base at Glasgow City Heliport when it crashed onto the Clutha Vaults public house late in the evening of Nov. 29, 2013. All three crew onboard the helicopter were killed as were six patrons in the bar when the aircraft crashed through the roof. A seventh person later succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators have few clues to go on. The aircraft did not have, nor was it required to have, a crash-worthy flight data recorder, which has forced the U.K. Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) to examine recorded data collected by the onboard aircraft systems and contained in non-volatile memory in several key aircraft systems. But the majority of the information recorded leaves no form of time-stamp. “While the order of some of the snapshots can be determined, their relative timing is unknown,” say investigators.

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