A transport driver in the USA has made a very expensive mistake by passing under a low bridge, destroying a $AU50 million Sikorsky helicopter in the process.
We’ve seen a Jeep Wagoneer and a brand new Range Rover come a cropper from transport drivers and low bridges, but this one is going to be hard to beat. A truck driver in Louisiana, USA has collided with a bridge while carrying a helicopter.
The main rotor mechanism of Sikorsky S-92 transport helicopter collided with the steel and concrete supports of the bridge, shearing the unit from the rest of the helicopter, spilling hydraulic fluid in the process.
In images shared on social media platform X (formally known as Twitter), the helicopter can be seen lodged under the bridge, with another photo showing the severed rotor assembly removed from the rest of the aircraft.
Commentary on the post notes that due to the fragile nature of the helicopter’s operation, an impact of this severity would likely render the aircraft unairworthy, meaning the whole $AU50 million helicopter would need to be scrapped.
The report notes that the driver was cited for careless operation, and no significant damage was caused to the bridge.
The Sikorsky S-92 is a large transport helicopter used for both civil and military tasks. Oil and gas exploration companies often use S-92 aircraft to ferry personnel to offshore rigs, as the civilian version can be outfitted with 19 seats and offers a range of around 1000km.
A new S-92 is estimated to cost $US32 million – or $AU50 million.