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Flight For Life Colorado - Non-injury incident

Date: 1/27/2009 1700 MST

Program: Flight For Life Colorado
	4231 W. 16th Ave.
	Denver, CO 80204

Type: AS 350 B3
Tail #: N392LG
Operator/Vendor: Air Methods

Weather: Clear. Not a factor

Team: Pilot, Flight Nurse, Flight Paramedic. No injuries reported. Patient on board. 

	As the helicopter was lifting off from its base helipad with a patient
	on board, the pilot experienced an uncommanded reduction in engine RPM
	from ?fly? to ?idle?.  There were no associated warning lights or fail
	codes during this malfunction and all engine gauges were within normal
	operating limits.  The pilot reported that he was just lifting off and
	was maximally 1-2 inches off the ground.  A review of helipad camera
	tapes demonstrated that the helicopter was not airborne.  It settled
	back onto the ground and the patient was transferred to a ground
	ambulance for transport to the receiving facility without problem.   

Additional Info: 
	Immediately following the incident, the pilot and mechanic attempted
	to re-enact the problem.  They determined that when the collective was
	increased, it eliminated all slack on a wiring bundle, resulting in
	tension on a wire and activation of a switch that reduced the engine
	to idle speed. The switch and electrical harness were replaced to
	allow for the movement of the collective.  A subsequent test flight
	demonstrated that the problem was resolved, and the helicopter was
	returned to service. 
	Maintenance had been completed prior to this event, replacing the
	switch and electrical bundle as part of the 500 hour inspection, and
	in strict compliance with the service bulletin.  Follow up has
	involved program medical and aviation staff, Air Methods Corporation,
	and Turbomecca and American Eurocopter resources.  

Source: Kathleen Mayer, Program Director

The CONCERN network shares verified information to alert medical transport
programs when an accident / incident has occurred. Please share the above
information with your program staff. If you have further questions, please
contact the CONCERN Coordinator, David Kearns at 800 525 3712 or email:

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