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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NTSB: Carson Errors Led to Crash

While acknowledging the role of lax oversight by maintenance inspectors, FAA and the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. National Transportation Board on Tuesday placed much of the blame for a 2008 crash of a Sikorsky S-61 on the operator—Carson Helicopters. NTSB concluded that the main causes of the crash were Carson’s “intentional” understatement of the helicopter’s empty weight; altering of the power available chart (to exaggerate lift capability); and practice of using above minimum specification torque figures in performance calculations, which resulted in the pilots overestimating the load capability of the S-61. Also cited was “insufficient oversight” from FAA and the Forest Service. Contributing factors included the flight crew’s failure to recognize the performance discrepancies during two departures prior to the accident flight.
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