Bird strike Accident Airbus Helicopters H145 HB-ZQJ, Wednesday 24 March 2021
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Date:Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time:22:01 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC45 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus Helicopters H145
Owner/operator:Schweizerische Luft-Ambulanz
Registration: HB-ZQJ
MSN: 20232
Year of manufacture:2018
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bretigny-sur-Morrens -   Switzerland
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hôpital d’Yverdon-Les-Bains
Destination airport:Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne
Investigating agency: STSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During a night flight for a patient transfer, the helicopter was hit by a large bird that flew through the cockpit on the right side at rudder level.

Analysis and Conclusions
The impact of the bird surprised the crew while the helicopter was in night cruise flight. Therefore, it was not possible to detect the presence of birds and attempt an avoidance maneuver. The shattering of the canopy with the penetration of the bird and the projection of remains into the dark cockpit must have caused a stress situation that was well managed by the pilot.
After a quick check of the power and airworthiness of the helicopter, the decision to divert to its base was appropriate. The pilot's equipment, including the helmet, a sturdy suit, and mountain shoes, contributed to the pilot's physical integrity.
This type of collision has occurred a few times since this type of helicopter was put into operation, and the manufacturer has implemented a passive protection improvement program. A canopy made of a different material and a new bonding technique have been tested with operators, including Rega, for evaluation purposes.
For the serialization of the chosen solution, Airbus Helicopters still needs to, among other things, validate the attachment of the canopy to the cabin structure and go through the certification process. For these reasons, it is difficult to predict a final certification date.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 12 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

11-Feb-2022 10:58 harro Added
19-Mar-2024 19:57 ASN Updated [Narrative, Category, Accident report]
30-Mar-2024 14:30 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
30-Mar-2024 14:33 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]

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