17 March 2009

TSB S-92 summary: the media briefings thus far

Since taking over the Cougar S-92 crash, the Transportation Safety Board has been providing more details on the incident through regular media briefings.

Over the weekend, TSB officials described some of the debris recovered initially. It included:

  • a sponson (one of the large structures on the side of the aircraft)
  • the rear cargo door
  • an interior bulkhead (likely the bulkhead separating the passenger compartment from the rear cargo area)
  • one of the emergency escape doors
  • both parts of a forward access door.  The top section latch was in the open position was in the open position;  the bottom half was latched.

The fuselage is sitting on the bottom in approximately 178 metres of water.  The tail boom has separated from the fuselage but remains near the main part of the aircraft. The fuselage is resting on one side.

gandmimagewronghelo As of Tuesday 17 Mar 09, all bodies had been recovered from the aircraft. The recovery process is indicated in the image, at left from the Globe and Mail.  The image uses a drawing of the wrong helicopter type.  It is labelled S-92 but the aircraft pictured is a PUMA.

The aircraft appears to have suffered a hard impact, significantly harder than first assumed. As a TSB official described it:

"It's been broken up somewhat," he said.

"It's cracked up quite a bit. The cockpit area in particular has been quite damaged."

However, he noted, the helicopter's cabin structure, from where the bodies are being recovered, is "somewhat together."

Unedited video of the TSB news conferences are available at cbc.ca/nl.