This aircraft was manufactured by MD Helicopters back in 1997 and was formally registered in September. It was acquired by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department in Long Beach, California, in December 1997 and entered service as air patrol "Air-24". It served the unit for six years before it was sold to Eastern Atlantic Helicopters Inc of Wilmington in June 2003.
The aircraft was repainted into its grey livery and displayed at the large Helitech exhibition in the UK in 2003. It operated in the UK as N958SD
for several years, and changed owner to Ottoman Empire Ltd, before it got the British registration G-NELY
in 2007. The Shoreham based UK company Eastern Atlantic Helicopters Ltd acquired the aircraft in June 2007.G-NELY
was purchased by the Swedish company Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport i Sverige AB in early 2009 (registered SE-JKJ
). The helicopter was the third NOTAR aircraft in Sweden – preceded by the MD520 SE-JBF
and the Explorer SE-JCG
Flygtjänst, which had its main base in Vilhelmina, used the aircraft for a wide range of operations, including heliski, mast mountings, fire fighting, taxi and so on. The primary purpose of the aircraft was to be used for high-precision sling-load operations throughout the country (primarily mast operations).SE-JKJ
was operated by Flygtjänst o Helikoptertransport until February 2011, when the company was purchased by HeliAir Sweden
. The aircraft was adopted into HeliAir's fleet in April the same year.
HeliAir used the helicopter for various tasks, including sling-load operations and air taxi.SE-JKJ
was sold to a private owner in Stockholm in late-July 2012. It was formally transferred to its new owner (Skärgårdsgruppen i Stockholm AB) in September 2012. It replaced the owner's earlier helicopter, a Robinson R44 (SE-JKG
). It was repainted at Patria Helicopter's maintenance facility at Arlanda Airport in October 2012. It was later provided with an emergency flotation skid gear.
The MD600N was stationed in a private hangar next to Bromma Airport in Stockholm, as well as on a private heliport in Lidingö. It was striped with a full body wrap in November 2013. The helicopter was used for private flights through large parts of the country.AccidentSE-JKJ
was badly damaged in an accident on 14 July 2014. The helicopter was approaching Stockholm during a ferry flight from Frösö Airport in Östersund when the engine suddenly quit. The 2100-hour pilot, who was the only person on board, entered an autorotation and did a 180-degree turn to reach land since he was over water. The helicopter ended up downwind in a heavy-flare landing in a farmland, after which it flipped over and obtained substantial damages. The pilot walked away unharmed.
The Swedish Accident Investigation Board concluded that the accident was caused by fuel starvation due to a malfunctioning fuel transfer system. Approximately 30 litres of fuel remained in the helicopter upon the time of the accident, but that could not be supplied to the engine due to a contaminated check valve. The accident board found that the helicopter’s Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) had failed to perform the manufacturer’s mandatory annual check of the fuel transfer system, which is considered to be a contributing factor to the accident.
The SHK continues its report by raising concerns regarding the foil body wrapping of the helicopter. The MD600 had been provided with a full-body advertisement coating that was of such an extent that it was to be considered an unauthorized modification of the helicopter. This did not, however, contribute to the accident.SE-JKJ
had approximately 4160 hours at the time of the accident.