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Manufacturing anomalies led to 2013 Kamov crash

Jan. 12, 2015, Richmond, B.C. - In its recently released investigation report (A13P0163), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter operated by VIH Helicopters Ltd. suffered an engine power loss due to anomalies in engine components that were not detected by quality control during engine manufacture and assembly.


January 12, 2015
By Carey Fredericks

On August 4, 2013, a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter was carrying out forest
fire suppression operations near Bella Coola, British Columbia using a
water bucket on a long line. Just as the helicopter lifted a load of
water out of a lake, there was a series of unusual sounds and the
aircraft began to shake severely. The pilot not flying released the
water bucket, and the pilot flying flew towards land for an emergency
landing. The crew experienced difficulties controlling the aircraft on
the way to the intended landing area. The helicopter touched down while
drifting sideways to the right, and subsequently bounced and rolled onto
its right side. The crew, who suffered minor injuries, shut down the
engines and exited the helicopter without difficulties. There was no
fire.

The investigation found that compressor turbine components failed due
to manufacturing anomalies, causing the engine to lose power. Quality
control during the manufacture and assembly of the engine's compressor
turbine section did not identify the anomalies in the components, which
were visible to the naked eye. If poor quality control is systemic,
helicopters with these engines (Klimov TV3-117) are at risk of failure,
which can have serious consequences for aircraft, crew, and passengers.

Following the occurrence, the Russian aviation regulator issued a
revised airworthiness directive that increased maintenance requirements
for engines installed in Kamov Ka-32 helicopters used for external load
operations.

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