Brand new Norwegian AW101 rolled during ground run

AvatarBy Lloyd Horgan | November 24, 2017

Estimated reading time 1 minute, 55 seconds.

Days after it received the first of 16 AW101s from Leonardo, the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has suffered a major setback as the aircraft overturned while performing a ground run at Sola Air Base on Nov. 24.

The Leonardo AW101 was delivered a week ago, and was still a month away from its official delivery ceremony. Leonardo Photo
The Leonardo AW101 was handed over to the Royal Norwegian Air Force just a week before the incident, and was still a month away from its official delivery ceremony. Leonardo Photo

The aircraft’s manufacturer, Leonardo, confirmed the aircraft had been “significantly damaged” in the incident, which happened during a maintenance ground run. There were no injuries to the crew on board or personnel on the ground.

Photos taken by local media shortly after the incident showed the aircraft lying on its right-hand side, with the main rotor hub shorn of all but the stub of one rotor blade.

“Leonardo Helicopters’ on-site team is fully supporting the Norwegian authorities’ initial investigation into this incident, and the company is ready to provide whatever additional assistance the investigation team may require,” Leonardo said in a statement.

The aircraft was the first of 16 to be delivered, and had been handed over at Leonardo’s facility in Yeovil, U.K, on Nov. 17 with the official handing over ceremony slated for the Dec. 20. The AW101s will eventually replace 330 Squadron’s aging fleet of Westland WS-61 Sea Kings.

While the program has come in under budget, it has suffered delays with two AW101s originally planned to be delivered in April this year.

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  1. We all know the two schools of thought during a crash investigation ; Human (Pilot) Error vs. Mechanical Error. Anxious to see where the blame is laid

  2. Well if they never left the ground I don’t see how they would have developed ground resonance, sympathetic resonance maybe but I don’t see why that would manifest in a roll. I would think an accidental control input or maybe something with the hydraulics would likely be the culprit here. It will be an interesting story no doubt.

    1. Dear Eric,
      I’m not saying that the accident was caused by ground resonance. The investigation is still ongoing and it’s too early to say something.
      But, it’s just because they was on the ground that they could have developed ground resonance. If they was in flight, the ground resonance would be impossible.

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