The report noted that the accident occurred on November 20, 2020 It was starred in a Eurocopter helicopter model Écureuil AS-350-3B, registration LV-FQN, which had taken off from the Finca las Costas Heliport, in the City of Salta, bound for the farm that Brito owned in Joaquín V. González, and it was piloted by the businessman.
It was also detailed that after eight minutes of flight at just over 1,500 meters, The pilot of the aircraft requested to modify the trajectory of his original flight plan to go to the destination via the Cabra Corral dam, on the Juramento riverbed, where it circulated at a height of about 100 meters.
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The last communication between the control tower of the Salta airport and the helicopter was at 6:33 p.m. and at 6:58 p.m. the duty guard of the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS COM) of the Salta airport received the notification of an accident aircraft in the Juramento river .
The control tower at the Salta airport tried to communicate with the pilot through other aircraft that were flying, and at approximately 7:30 p.m. the emergency plan was activated upon receiving confirmation of the accident.
As a consequence of the event, the aircraft suffered significant damage to the cabin, main rotor blades, tail rotor and powerplant and the report indicates that the accident occurred during the day and in meteorological conditions for visual flight.
Brito was a certified pilot for this aircraft and with ample experience, since he flew it regularly and had used that same route repeatedly.
Although the report does not draw conclusions from what happened, from reading it it is clear that either Brito did not see clearly the first signaling cable, about 12 mm thick and equipped with 0.50 meter test bolts. in diameter, orange in color, which marked the presence of the other two canopy cables, or saw it late and could not elude it.
The ship impacted the signal line with the cutter and cut it, but then dragged the second and third lines of the canopy, ripping it out of the mooring area.
The impact with the cables would have subjected the aircraft to excessive stresses and loads, which caused one of the main rotor blades to sever the tail rotor, for which it lost control and fell onto the riverbed from a height of 90 meters, which made any reaction from the pilot impossible, impacting against the water in a shallow area.
The impact of the helicopter with the cables affected the integrity of the flight deck and the mechanics of the strike against the ground and its magnitude decreased the possibility of survival of its occupants.
The report indicates that the cabin was deformed on its right front side, it was observed that the seats were subject to their fixings and it was verified that both the pilot and the passenger had their seat belts on at the time of the accident. However, one of the belt straps was cut.
The aircraft was certified in accordance with current regulations and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s plan, weight and roll were within the flight envelope indicated in the aircraft’s flight manual.
The flight was developed under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in an area where the hills that make up the canyon, with a general north-south orientation, have an approximate height of 300 meters (northwest cordon) and 150 meters (southeast cordon). .
The Juramento River runs through this canyon, and by the action of the gates of a leveler dam, the water level can be modified, which in certain circumstances causes an island of stony soil (boulders) to form, where the aircraft remained after the fall.
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In order to rule out a possible technical failure, the aircraft’s avionics component, which digitally controls the powerplant, and the multifunction screen were sent to the JST laboratory, with the exception that some of these equipment were submerged in the river, a situation that can make it difficult to obtain information.
The report also points out that there were marks on the short upper cable of the helicopter, but not on the lower one., as well as on the rotor, but marks left by the tips of the tail rotor blades on the tail boom were observed.