CH146432 Griffon- Epilogue

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Report / February 28, 2018 / Project number: CH146432- D Category

Location: Opa Locka, Florida
Date: 2018-02-28
Status: Investigation Complete

The occurrence involved a Griffon helicopter from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron (search and rescue configuration) with a six person crew operating out of the Opa-Locka airport, near Miami, Florida. The mission was part of Exercise Southern Breeze and was flown as a pilot proficiency flight and an air lesson plan training flight for an under-training flight engineer. The mission consisted of mostly over-water hoisting work.

Approaching the Opa-Locka airport control zone after the mission, the crew commenced the pre-landing checks when the life raft inadvertently departed the aircraft. The raft was visually tracked by the instructor flight engineer as it fell from approximately 500 feet above ground level and was seen to impact the roof of a house. The crew circled the helicopter back overhead the house to mark its location, then continued to the airport for landing.

The incident was reported to local police who assisted Royal Canadian Air Force personnel in recovering the life raft from the house. There were minor injuries sustained by an occupant of the house, and the house sustained damage to the roof and a bedroom. There were no injuries to the crew or damage to the aircraft.

The investigation focused on how equipment is secured in the aircraft during a mission. The exact reason the lap belt securing the life raft became unsecured could not be determined. The preventive measures focused on the securing of equipment and securing procedures, as well as aircraft configuration when flying over built up areas.

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