CH149913 Cormorant - Epilogue

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Report / November 14, 2013 / Project number: CH149913-D-Cat

Location: Bass River, Five Islands Provincial Park, Nova Scotia
Date: 14 November 2013
Status: Investigation Complete

The training scenario, near Bass River in Five Islands Provincial Park, NS, involved hoisting two Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) and a rescue basket into and out of a wooded confined area while the helicopter remained in a 120 foot high hover.  After the SAR Techs were lowered and some practice manoeuvres were conducted using the rescue basket, the first SAR Tech and the rescue basket were hoisted back on board the helicopter.

In preparation for being hoisted up, the second SAR Tech stowed the rescue basket guide rope and verified that the helicopter was directly overhead before he attached the hoist hook to his harness and signalled to the Flight Engineer (FE) in the helicopter that he was ready.  The FE then took up the slack in the hoist cable and began to raise the second SAR Tech.  Seconds later, the SAR Tech fell to the ground and landed flat on his back.

Shortly after, the SAR Tech stood up and indicated to the FE that he was not injured.  The FE reeled in the hoist hook and then brought the SAR Tech up using the back-up hoist.  After returning to a staging area, the crew decided to terminate the training mission.

The investigation focussed on the phenomenon known as rollout, in which the rescue harness connecting D-ring can misalign with the hoist hook and allow the D-ring to disconnect.  A Flight Safety Flash bulletin was immediately sent to all RCAF hoist users to identify this hazard.

Preventive measures included changes to SAR Tech training, amended hoisting procedures and evaluation of a self-locking gate for the hoisting hook.

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