Accident Eurocopter EC-145 G-RMAA, Thursday 3 May 2018
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Date:Thursday 3 May 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC45 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC-145
Owner/operator:Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
Registration: G-RMAA
MSN: 20166
Year of manufacture:2017
Engine model:Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Car Park, near Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Car Park, near Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton
Destination airport:Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Bimingham
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
AAIB investigation to MBB-BK 117 D-2 EC145, G-RMAA: Damaged due to Insufficient anti-torque pedal input in variable wind takeoff, Car park close to Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, 3 May 2018. The incident was the subject of an AAIB Investigation, and the following is an excerpt from the AAIB Report:

"The pilot had landed the helicopter in a car park close to the site of a road traffic collision in preparation for transporting a patient to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham

Prior to restart, the pilot noted that the wind direction was variable in the location of the car park, so he walked closer to the road to better assess the wind. He determined it to be predominantly east to south-east in direction. As he had landed into the prevailing wind, the pilot did not plan to turn the helicopter during departure.

Once the patient had been loaded and engines started, the paramedic boarded and the pilot prepared for takeoff. The engines were set to flight, the autopilot engaged and pre-takeoff checks were completed, with no abnormalities.

The pilot raised the collective slowly, with the anti-torque pedals level, and brought the helicopter into a low hover. He reported that as the helicopter became light on its skids, it began to yaw to the left. He applied opposite anti-torque pedal to counteract, but the helicopter continued to rotate left. The pilot reported that he was unhappy with the situation and made the decision to land and did so by rapidly lowering the collective.

The pilot shut down the aircraft and the occupants were vacated, with the patient being transported to hospital by road ambulance. The helicopter had turned approximately 40° to the left from its original parked position and had moved 3 to 4 ft rearwards. The frangible section of the tail boom had contacted a low wall and the landing gear cross tube had deformed as a result of the heavy landing (Figure 2). Subsequent examination of the helicopter by the operator’s maintenance organisation found no technical issue that could have caused the loss of directional control.

A review of the flight data and a video taken by an onlooker showed that the left anti-torque pedal was slightly depressed prior to lift off. It remained in this position as the helicopter lifted but remained in contact with the ground. As the helicopter became airborne it started to yaw to the left. The pilot applied right anti-torque pedal, but it was insufficient to arrest the rate of yaw.

=Safety Actions
As a result of this event the operator has re-briefed all of its pilots on the possible consequences of remaining light on the skids when lifting into the hover.

The operator has also updated their ODC to reflect the most recent EASA Acceptable Means of Compliance and refer to dimensions of both the EC-135 and the EC-145 Helicopters

=Damage Sustained to the Airframe=
Per the above AAIB Report, "Damaged frangible fenestron protector and distorted undercarriage cross tube". The helicopter was repaired and returned to service

Molineux Stadium is a football stadium situated in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, has been the home ground of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1889. The stadium is a few hundred yards north of Wolverhampton city centre, at the far side of the city's ring road, and is a prominent building due to its size in an area with predominantly low-rise buildings.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/G2018/05/15
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB Report:

History of this aircraft

This Eurocopter EC-145 was built in 2017, and was first civil registered in the UK to Airbus Helicopters UK Ltd (the UK agents) at Kidlington Oxford Airport upon delivery on 20 September 2017. Although it has always been operated by the Midland Air Ambulance Charity as an air ambulance, it was initially registered to Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore Ltd (with an address at Gloucestershire Airport) from 30 October 2017.

After the incident near Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton on 3 May 2018, the helicopter was repaired and returned to service. G-RMAA was only officially re-registered to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (and based at RAF Cosford, Shropshire) from 23 August 2021, four years after delivery. G-RMAA had accumulated a total of 1,594 flying hours as at 12 October 2023.



G-RMAA Eurocopter EC145 Helicopter (Babcock Misson Critical Services Onshore Ltd) at Gloucestershire Airport (GLO/EGJB) 26 September 2018 G-RMAA Eurocopter EC145 Helicopter (Babcock Misson Critical Services Onshore Ltd)

Revision history:

06-Aug-2023 19:29 harro Added
06-Aug-2023 19:29 harro Updated
08-Jul-2024 09:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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