CH147204 Chinook - Epilogue

Report / January 24, 2010 / Project number: CH147204 - C Category

Location: Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Date: 2010-01-24
Status: Investigation Completed

The flight of occurrence was a night mission to include hover, simulated slung load, dust-ball and pinnacle landing training. At the time of the occurrence, the senior FE was in the forward cabin (Fwd FE) positioned at the right door and the junior FE was in the aft cabin and positioned at the ramp (Ramp FE). All five crewmembers were wearing NVGs and conducting a pinnacle landing. A pinnacle landing is where the aircraft will land either all four wheels or only the two rear wheels on an elevated surface, a mound or a ridge in order to load or off-load cargo or passengers.  In the case of a two-wheel landing, the aircraft’s front wheels are held off the ground during the manoeuvre.  This procedure can combine various aspects of mountain flying, confined area and off-level landing techniques.

The Ramp FE had opened and lowered the ramp to an above-level position where he positioned himself on the ramp to observe the right rear wheel and the intended landing spot.  He was laying down mid way up the ramp, perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft with his head outside of the aircraft and shoulders between the ramp and the airframe.  As the wheels touched down, the Ramp FE heard a loud bang, felt the aircraft shudder and simultaneously started feeling crushing pressure on his shoulders.  He blacked out and sustained serious injuries. 

Upon hearing the Ramp FE moans, the Fwd FE and the Door Gunner turned and noticed that the Ramp FE was pinched between the ramp and the airframe.  They went back, extracted the Ramp FE and administered first aid as the aircraft proceeded to KAF.  The aircraft was met by the Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) [CHF(A)] Deputy Commanding Officer who instructed the AC to fly to the Role 3 hospital where a medical team tended to the Ramp FE.  The aircraft returned to X-ray ramp, was shut down and quarantined.

The investigation revealed that the Ramp FE developed his own technique of laying across a partially opened ramp to provide conning and check for obstacles during pinnacle landings. This technique, facilitated by the lack of proper training, the absence of clear direction and an exposure to modified procedures, created an unrecognized hazard during pinnacle landings.

This accident prompted CHF(A) to suspend all pinnacle landings performed with the ramp open. 1 Cdn Air Div/ TASET issued the B-GA-002-147/FP-001 CH147D Publication Supplement that clarifies pinnacle landing procedures.

Safety recommendations include developing a CH147D FE Qualification Standards and amending  the Publication Supplement to include the procedures and warnings provided for pinnacle landings to other CH147D manoeuvres requiring ramp operations.

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