Losses and Aviation Safety

NORWAY’S FIRST AW101 SAR HELICOPTER OVERTURNS DURING GROUND RUN

The AW101 was delivered less than a month ago to Norway

On Nov. 24, 2017, less than a month after it was delivered to Norway, the first AW101 all-weather search and rescue helicopter operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force has been badly damaged.

The rotorcraft was doing a maintenance ground run when it rolled over. It had arrived at Sola Air Base two weeks ago.

No injuries were reported to the two crew on board, but an image posted on AgustaWestland AW101 SAR/Sea King Norway Facebook page shows the 15.6t helicopter resting on its right-hand side, minus its main rotor blades.

The Norwegian Ministry of Justice & Public Security ordered a total of 16 AW101s.

According to Business Jet Traveler the helicopter was slated to enter service next year, but the date is now uncertain in the aftermath of the crash.

Nevertheless deliveries are still expected to continue through 2020.

Leonardo is providing related services, including initial support and training, spares at each operating base, and performance-based logistic support for up to 90,000 flight hours for the fleet over 15 years. An AW101 full flight simulator was commissioned in June at Sola to provide in-country crew training and also will be available to third parties.

Norway’s AW101s are equipped with an advanced SAR package, including a multi-panel Osprey AESA surveillance radar system from Leonardo that provides 360-degree coverage; a four-axis digital automatic flight control system; two rescue hoists; searchlight; electro-optical device; and a fully integrated avionics and mission system. Other systems and equipment include a mobile telephone detection system, obstacle proximity warning system, weather radar, complete medical station, and mission console.

The tri-engine AW101 features full anti-icing systems for flight into known icing, a 30-minute run-dry main gearbox, stand-up cabin, and a rear loading ramp. More than 220 have been ordered worldwide.

Photo credit: Jarle Aasland via AW101 SAR/Sea King Norway Facebook page and Leonardo

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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