The potential failure that forced the Black Hawk helicopter to land in Bucharest’s roundabout

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The pilots of the American military helicopter Black Hawk that had an emergency landing last Thursday in Charles de Gaulle Square and knocked down two pillars above Aviatorilor Boulevard would have resorted to this solution as a desperate last-minute measure to prevent an uncontrolled crash of the aircraft.

The possible cause is related to a problem with the device’s gearbox. The rapid reaction of the pilots led to the avoidance of a much more serious incident that could have resulted in casualties.

According to TVR, a sensor was lit on board the aircraft indicating an immediate danger, and the procedure provided for an emergency landing.

The alert that is lit is called a “Chip Detection” and is triggered when a magnet sensor inside the gearbox detects small metal pieces in the transmission oil, pieces that can lead to blockage of the gears and, consequently, the loss of power that it is transmitted from the engines to the helicopter rotor.

Sources in the investigation quoted by TVR say that once the alarm was triggered, the helicopter could have been about to lose transmission and that the rapid reaction of the pilots led to the avoidance of a more serious incident.

The failure basically refers to the appearance of an indication on board on the existence of pieces of metal in the transmission oil. The standard procedure for the vast majority of helicopters requires reducing power, not using the speed regime at that time, reducing power to a minimum and looking for a place to land as soon as possible, “says Lucian Lupescu, helicopter pilot.

A helicopter belonging to the American Army had an emerging landing  last Thursday in the north of the Capital, in the roundabout in Charles de Gaulle Square, where it knocked down two lighting poles. The Black Hawk helicopter was flying over with five other such helicopters, suddenly lost altitude and forced landing in the roundabout on Aviatorilor Boulevard, right at the roundabout. The helicopters were performing a rehearsal flight for the July 20 air parade on Aviation Day. The American helicopter shot down two light poles on Aviatorilor Boulevard. There were no casualties in the incident.

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