Wirestrike Accident Agusta A109S Grand I-EITC, Saturday 15 December 2018
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Date:Saturday 15 December 2018
Time:18:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A109 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Agusta A109S Grand
Owner/operator:Babcock MCS Portugal
Registration: I-EITC
MSN: 22007
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Serra da Santa Justa, Valongo, near Porto -   Portugal
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Massarelos Heliport (LPDA)
Destination airport:Paredes-Baltar Heliport (LPPB)
Investigating agency: GPIAAF
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Agusta A109S helicopter with registration I-EITC, after an urgent inter-hospital transport service of the National Medical Emergency Institute (INEM), took off from Massarelos heliport (LPDA) at 18:35 having the destination Macedo de Cavaleiros heliport (LPMC), the aircraft’s operational base location, with a planned technical stop for refuelling at Paredes-Baltar heliport (LPPB).
On board there were two operator’s crew members, a Pilot in Command and a Co-pilot, and two INEM medical crew, a doctor and a nurse, both without technical flight duty assignments.
After the initial climb coordinated with Porto International Airport (LPPR) Air Traffic Control ATC) services, during the en route flight phase with adverse meteorological conditions, between Massarelos heliport and Paredes-Baltar heliport, at 18:40 UTC, the aircraft collides with a radio broadcasting support tower, located in Serra de Santa Justa, Valongo.
After the main rotor blades contacted the tower and its locking wires, the aircraft began a continuous disintegration until finally the main parts crashed on the East slope of the hill, 384 meters from the point of impact. None of the occupants survived the violent ground impact.

The investigation determined as most probable cause for the accident, the aircraft main rotor contact with a radio broadcasting tower.
For the accident, the following factors contributed:
― VFR flight below the minimum altitudes provided in the regulations;
― The crew forcing to maintain visual conditions with the ground, with marginal visibility conditions;
― Operation on heliports without radio aids not allowing non-visual approach up-to a given altitude, compelling conditions for routine violation as per current regulations;
― Due to orography, terrain artificial light conditions and atmospheric conditions, it is likely that the pilot understood that the terrain would be transposed without significant risk;
― The aircraft contractual selection and acceptance with its specified range associated with lack of fuel supply solutions at the origin heliport (Massarelos);
― The lack of night signalling on the nearest lower tower or in at the intermediate level of the accidented tower, as well as the adjacent towers installed in Serra de Santa Justa.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: GPIAAF
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report



ANPC ___________________________________

Preliminary report https://cdn.cmjornal.pt/files/2018-12/2018-12-18_18_40_38_RELATORIO-Acidente_Heli_INEM.pdf





Figure: GPIAAF


Revision history:

16-Dec-2018 02:13 RobertMB Added
16-Dec-2018 05:09 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
16-Dec-2018 05:42 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Total occupants, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:44 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:46 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:46 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 05:50 RobertMB Updated [Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 09:27 harro Updated [Registration, Operator, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 09:30 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 12:03 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 13:11 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 14:24 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 15:35 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
16-Dec-2018 23:35 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
17-Dec-2018 00:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
17-Dec-2018 10:12 Anon. Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
17-Dec-2018 14:55 RobertMB Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Dec-2018 22:41 Iceman 29 Updated [Narrative, Photo]
17-Dec-2018 22:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo]
19-Dec-2018 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Photo]
19-Dec-2018 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Photo]
20-Dec-2018 19:26 Anon. Updated [Location]
20-Dec-2018 19:26 harro Updated [Location]
20-Dec-2018 20:50 Anon. Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
30-Dec-2018 00:09 Geno Updated [Destination airport]
18-Mar-2019 14:22 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
14-Mar-2020 17:54 harro Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report, ]
14-Mar-2020 17:58 harro Updated [Photo, Accident report, ]
05-Apr-2020 11:41 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Source]
05-Apr-2020 12:25 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
05-Apr-2020 12:26 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Embed code]
25-Jul-2023 20:21 harro Updated
14-Nov-2023 09:46 harro Updated [Other fatalities]

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