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The crash of the helicopter that was fighting a fire in the municipality of Amares, district of Braga, on Thursday, after colliding with power lines, was “unavoidable”, says the investigation, adding that the entire valley was “under direct sunlight”. .

These data are contained in an Information Note (NI) from the Office for the Prevention and Investigation of Aircraft Accidents and Railway Accidents (GPIAAF) released this Wednesday.

This organization says that, after leaving the team of eight members of the Emergency Protection and Relief Unit UEPS/GNR, the 53-year-old pilot, who was seriously injured, continued to receive hospital treatment, in contact with another helicopter, “ flew in search of a nearby water point for the first supply and discharge in the fire”, in the town of Paranhos, Amares.

“After the loading and unloading cycle was repeated, the helicopter performed eight water drops over the fire front, west of a 150Kv power transmission line. [quilovolts] that crossed the site”, says the GPIAAF.

With the evolution of the fire to the east, the pilot “made two starts to the east” of that electric line.

On the eleventh approach to the front of the fire, the pilot, “knowing the existence and location of overhead power lines at the site, made a direct approach from the supply point, located in Rio Homem, to the north of the fire, followed by a right turn defining a trajectory for the third and final start of the day, east of the power line”.

“At 18:22, during the aforementioned right turn, the pilot was surprised by the position of the high voltage line in front of him, immediately leaving the water, he tried to maneuver on the right downhill to avoid the collision. It ended up colliding with the two lower cables of the line, initially with the main rotor and then with the tail rotor that separated from the aircraft, becoming entangled in one of the cables of the high voltage line ”, explains the investigation.

According to the GPIAAF, “the loss of control of the aircraft was inevitable and the consequent abrupt fall practically to the vertical of the impact”.

“Given the dense vegetation and the negative slope favorable to the trajectory of energy dissipation of the aircraft, the phased impact, although violent, allowed the pilot to survive”, indicates the Informative Note.

The investigators add that it was the elements of the nearby UEPS that “provided the first care to the pilot who was imprisoned in the wreckage of the aircraft”.

The GPIAAF also notes that “the sky presented few high clouds, with the entire valley [onde lavrava o incêndio] under direct sunlight”.

The section of the lines involved in the accident is characterized by a span of 1,016 meters, supported by two vertical wake posts.

“The lines consist of eight aluminum/steel conductors (two three-phase lines) and two upper guard cables, duly signposted”, reads the Information Note, which also states that “the point of impact on the two cables inferiors occurred at about 342 meters from the North pole, at an elevation of 81 meters from the ground”.

The GPIAAF opened a safety investigation process into the causes of the accident, which will focus on “the operation of the pre-event aircraft, the conditions of the surrounding environment, the human factors involved, the organizational factors and procedures involved in the operation, the measures of risk management in relation to the collision of firefighting aircraft with overhead power transmission lines and the treatment of previous GPIAAF recommendations”.

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