Two safety recommendations regarding the ultralight aircraft accident in Laajasalo, Helsinki, on 30 May 2017

Published 9.3.2018

The pilot of an ultralight aircraft made a forced landing at the Tuurholma Park in Laajasalo, Tullisaari, Helsinki on 30 May 2017, due to an engine fault and engine failure. Both the pilot and the passenger were seriously injured in the accident. The Safety Investigation Authority, Finland, gives two safety recommendations as a result of its safety investigation.

The safety Investigation Authority, Finland, recommends that the Emergency Response Centre Administration add an advanced warning – for communication to those issuing accident alerts and units participating in rescue operations – to the duty officer’s instructions (MORA) or the forthcoming ERICA operating system, about possible rocket parachute cartridges on aircraft, particularly in case of medium-sized and small air accidents.

The rescue units had no information about the rocket parachute on the aircraft before the investigator from the Safety Investigation Authority, Finland, warned all those on the scene of the presence of the rocket parachute and the attendant risks. During an accident, an unactivated rocket parachute poses a serious danger to people close to the scene of the accident and to rescue service personnel. Warning signs indicating the presence of rocket parachutes are not always visible at the scene of an accident. The current instructions for emergency duty officers (MORA) make no mention of the possible hazard posed by rocket-powered emergency parachutes on aircraft.

Secondly, the Safety Investigation Authority recommends that the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) provide aircraft operators with safety information on the importance of training in the use of rocket parachutes. The pilot of the aircraft involved in the accident did not have sufficient information on the use of the rocket parachute or its features. The pilot did not consider using the rocket parachute at any time during the forced landing.

Further information:
Chief Aviation Safety Investigator Ismo Aaltonen, tel. +358 295 150 703
Veli-Pekka Nurmi, Executive Director of the Safety Investigation Authority, tel. +358 295 150 701