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AAIB Reports Glasgow Police Helicopter’s Engines Stopped With Fuel Still Onboard

By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | February 25, 2014
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According to the United Kingdom’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), both Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engines had flamed out on the Scottish police Airbus Helicopter EC135 T2 that crashed onto a pub in Glasgow last November with 10 fatalities. However they have also discovered that there was fuel in the main onboard tank.

A Special Bulletin issued by the AAIB on Febraury 14, 2014, stated: “Recorded data indicates that, in the latter stages of the flight, the right engine flamed out, and shortly after the left engine flamed out. The helicopter descended and struck the roof of The Clutha Vaults bar at a high rate of descent, in an upright attitude. Evidence indicates that the rotor blades and Fenestron tail rotor were not rotating at the moment of impact.”

Once the helicopter had been removed from the site it was discovered that 76 kg of fuel remained in the main fuel tank, while the No1 and No2 supply tanks contained 0.4 kg and 0 kg respectively. The report added that findings showed the fuel was in those locations at the time of the crash and had not subsequently moved.


According to the AAIB report: “The fuel pump switches were examined at the accident site and it was found that the No 1 and No 2 prime pump switches were set to the on position and the fore and aft transfer pump  switches were set to the off position.”

The AAIB is continuing its investigation and in particular wants to discover why the aircraft engines stopped with fuel still on board, why no emergency was declared by the pilot, and why no autorotation was possible.

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