10 December 1997
An AS 350B helicopter, transporting a stretcher patient, suddenly lost all power and an autorotation was carried out. The helicopter landed heavily, collapsing the skid gear and rolled onto its left side. Although the helicopter was substantially damaged, the three occupants escaped without injury.
During the flight, the fuel flow control lever was inadvertently moved to the closed position while the patient was attempting to adjust a knapsack under his injured leg.
The fuel control lever movement from "flight" to "stop" position, which shuts down the engine, does not require special effort and could be initiated quite unintentionally by any passenger.
To preclude movement of the fuel flow control lever by any occupant, other than the pilot, Eurocopter Canada introduced a guard which separates the occupant of the left side of the cockpit from the control quadrants.
Transport Canada strongly recommends this optional installation as a measure to improve helicopter safety. Details of this installation are available from Eurocopter Canada Ltd., 1100 Gilmore Road, P.O. Box 250, Fort Erie, Ontario, L2A 5M9.
Any defects or further occurrences should be reported by sending a Service Difficulty Report to Transport Canada, Continuing Airworthiness, Ottawa.
For more information, please contact your nearest Transport Canada Centre, or call directly Mr. Bogdan Gajewski in Ottawa at (613) 952-4450, facsimile (613) 996-9178 or Internet e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Director, National Aircraft Certification
Acting Chief, Continuing Airworthiness