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Helicopter Accident Linked to Flashover from High Voltage Lines

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – In accordance with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations (Cap. 448 sub. leg.B), an inspector’s investigation is in progress to determine the circumstances and causes of the accident involving an Aerospatiale SA 315B LAMA helicopter (registration mark B-HJV) operated by Heliservices (Hong Kong) Limited in Kau Lung Hang Lo Wai, Fanling, on January 3, 2011.

The investigation team today (March 9) released Accident Bulletin 2/2012 as an update to Accident Bulletin 3/2011 issued on February 1, 2011.

A spokesman from the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said that the objective of the investigation is to determine the circumstances and causes of the accident with a view to preventing accidents and preserving life in the future. The updated bulletin contains information relating to the accident as determined up to the time of issue and must be regarded as tentative.

“The latest findings indicated that at the time of the accident, the helicopter longline might have come close enough to the nearby overhead high-voltage electricity line conductor to trigger a fault current to flow from the line conductor to an earthed object, causing a flashover,” he said.

“A series of high-voltage electrical experiments were conducted in a suitably equipped laboratory to evaluate the possible scenarios. Results have revealed that if the accident longline, which was shrouded by a protective nylon fabric jacket, had moved to a distance closer than approximately 20 centimetres to the overhead line conductor and an earthed object, the air insulation gap between them could break down and a flashover could occur.”

The spokesman added, “The investigation team has issued one recommendation to Heliservices (Hong Kong) Limited at the current stage, which is to suspend the use of any underslung cable assemblies on Aerospatiale SA 315B LAMA helicopters, which consist of electrical conducting material, in the vicinity of overhead high-voltage electricity lines until completion of the investigation.

The investigation team will continue to study all other relevant evidence and information, including but not limited to the operational and management aspects of the helicopter underslung operation, in order to determine the circumstances of the accident.”

The full Accident Bulletin 2/2012 is attached in the Annex. It is also available for download at the CAD webpage (www.cad.gov.hk/english/reports.html).

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Contractor Killed Working on Allegheny Energy Project in WV

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

WEST VIRGINIA – A man was killed in a Tucker County helicopter accident Saturday. The helicopter was being used to work on Allegheny Energy’s TrAILCo (Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co.) project.

Three others injured in the crash were discharged Sunday after spending the night at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

West Virginia State Police identified the three as Ryan Joseph Lang, 31, of Portage, Ind.; Jeffrey M. McKay, 34, from Olive Hill, Ky.; and Robert A. Rogers, 40, of Dacula, Ga.

The fourth person was pronounced dead at the scene, Sgt. J.L. Clay said. The name of the 51-yearold man is being withheld until his next of kin have been notified.

The helicopter, owned by Winco Power Line Services of Aurora, Ore., was working for PAR Services of Kansas City, Miss., on one of the large towers installed as part of Allegheny Energy’s TrAILCo project. Three of those on board are PAR Services employees, Clay said.

The firm is building a 500-kilovolt transmission line from near Loudin, Va., across West Virginia to a new substation in Mount Morris, Pa.

Clay said in a news release that he and TFC M.S. Wetzel, both of the Parsons Detachment, answered a 10:30 a.m. Saturday call to a helicopter crash off Lead Mine Road, near Thomas, Tucker County.

The helicopter was being used to pick up the subjects, who were at the top of a large metal powerline tower, he said. The helicopter apparently maneuvered underneath the suspended wires and may have struck the wires, causing the crash, he said.

Questions about the accident were referred to the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority, who are handling the investigation.

A Par Electrical representative referred all questions to Allegheny Energy.

The helicopter crash should not affect construction of Allegheny Energy’s TrAIL high-power electric line in that area, Allegheny Energy spokesman Doug Colafella said Sunday.

He confirmed that the helicopter was flying for a subcontractor on the TrAIL project, and said it had a pilot and three line workers on board.

“I want to make it clear that this was not an Allegheny Energy helicopter, and these were not Allegheny Energy employees,” Colafella said.

“I have no details as to how the crash occurred,” Colafella said. “I just know that its a very tragic accident. We’re very upset this occurred.

“This is a really important project for our company. Safety has been a commitment. We emphasize safety in every aspect, from the most dangerous to most routine.”

Helicopter in Spain Hits Power Lines – Pilot Unharmed

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

LORCA, SPAIN – A woman was unharmed yesterday after falling to the ground after jumping out of the helicopter she was piloting after it hit electric lines in a field near Lorca (Murcia). She was preparing to fumigate a lettuce plantation in the village of La Campana. According to the Emergency Coordination Center, the accident occurred about 10.55 am yesterday just after takeoff and the propeller apparently became entangled with medium voltage electrical wires nearby.

Farm workers called 112 to report what happened and Lorca Park firefighters and an emergency mobile unit were sent to the scene, but the pilot had a “miraculous” escape.

The accident occurred in a farm near the hamlet of DoƱana and caused a blackout for several hundred residents and industries in three nearby hamlets for the rest of the day while emergency repair workers attempted to restore the power.

Although the pilot managed to escape unharmed, the helicopter hit the pylon and split in two.

Story via TheReader.es