Agusta A109C, G-HBEK
As the pilot approached the landing site, he noticed that another A109 was parked “in an obstructive position” on the adjacent taxiway. Knowing that the hoses on the bowser were short and being aware of the position of the other A109, he wanted to land as close as possible to the fuel bowser, to facilitate refuelling, and as far away from the other A109. The pilot described the landing as “not easy” due to the strong and gusty cross wind. After touch down the engines were shut down. As the rotor speed decreased through 50% rpm the rotor blades began to droop. As they did so they began to strike the side of the bowser. The pilot immediately applied the rotor brake. The rotor blades continued to strike the bowser but more violently. One blade then became lodged in the bowser; this caused the rotors to stop suddenly. As a result the main rotor blades were extensively damaged; one main rotor damper was sheared off at its attachment mountings resulting in mechanical damage to parts of the main rotor head and drive assembly components. Also both engines required an inspection. The fuel bowser suffered only minor damage.
Published 10 December 2014