The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) issued a press release providing an update on the helicopter that ‘crash landed’ near Newton on August 5, 2023.

Recalling that on the same date, the Authority released a statement informing the public about a safety incident involving the helicopter with Registration Number ZS-RWT. The helicopter was traveling from Monrovia en route to Banjul via Lungi, with overflight and landing permit number Lp/010823-057 for a technical stop only.

The Authority conducted an Airworthiness Inspection on the aircraft and identified the following issues:

  1. Stripping of the polyurethane laminate on the Rotor Blade.
  2. Pilots experienced severe vibrations on the Rotor head due to aerodynamic imbalance caused by delamination of the Rotor Blade tip.
  3. The delaminated section was cut off as a temporary field procedure to allow the Helicopter to be ferried to Hastings Aerodrome.
  4. Engine inspection revealed traces of oil leakage and hydraulic leak from the main Rotor hydraulic reservoir.

The Authority replaced the Rotor Blades with a new set, which was installed by a Maintenance Engineer from South Africa on August 13, 2023.

As a result, the Blades have been balanced, and the aircraft is now considered airworthy in accordance with its CATS/CARS.

The Authority concluded by assuring the general public of its commitment to enhancing the safety and security of civil aviation in the country.