G-MPSB hard landing during simulated single engine practice, North Weald Aerodrome, Essex



This serious incident occurred during the demonstration of an engine failure after emergency take-off procedure during a pilot-in-command type rating instructor rating revalidation flight.

The engine failure was simulated by the captain reducing the No. 1 engine throttle to idle. Shortly after, the commander increased the throttle setting, but the #1 engine did not respond. During attempts to resolve the problem, the throttle setting for engine #2 was inadvertently reduced, resulting in insufficient power being available to continue flying safely. The captain aborted the takeoff and made a firm landing inside the airfield boundaries.

The ensuing technical investigation found no evidence of malfunction in the engine control systems. Engine #1 probably did not respond because the rotor RPM droop trim was inadvertently set the wrong way.

This incident reinforces the benefit of using flight simulators whenever possible to reduce training risk, thereby obviating the need for live emergency training in the helicopter. Safety measures were taken by the helicopter operator following this investigation.

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