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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 175271
Last updated: 3 December 2021
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Time:09:03 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA)
Registration: ZS-HFO
MSN: 11540
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Verulam -   South Africa
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Helipad, Reaction Unit South Africa, Durban,
Destination airport:Verulam Recreation Grounds
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
On 25 March 2015, the helicopter which was later involved in the accident was delivered to the owner, who was also the pilot. That delivery took place following the installation and break-in of the engine after overhaul. On Thursday, 2 April 2015, the pilot flew the helicopter for the first time after delivery, on a local flight. On the next day, 3 April 2015, the pilot was accompanied by a passenger on a private flight with the intention of landing at the Verulam Recreational Grounds and then giving a static display of the helicopter. However, the pilot was unable to land at the Grounds
because a large vehicle was in close proximity to the intended landing area and that vehicle had to be moved before the helicopter could land. While the pilot was orbiting the field at approximately 400 feet above ground level (AGL) the helicopter engine failed. As the pilot was over a built-up area at the time, he identified an open field for landing purposes, which required him to execute a 180 turn. The field was surrounded by some tall trees and the pilot had to stretch the autorotation in an attempt to clear those trees: in doing so, the main rotor RPM decayed rapidly and as the pilot was now committed to the landing he was unable to restore the RPM. The helicopter then touched down hard in an upright position and started to roll over to the right and came to rest in a semi rolled-over attitude. The passenger, who was occupying the left front seat, suffered a back injury during the accident sequence and was admitted to hospital. During the sequence the pilot suffered from a laceration to his left elbow.

Probable cause
An unsuccessful forced landing following an engine stoppage in flight which was attributed to a loose fuel pipe that supplies fuel from the fuel control unit (FCU) to the fuel flow divider.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

11-Apr-2015 07:14 gerard57 Added
11-Apr-2015 07:15 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]
12-Apr-2015 09:17 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description