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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 195502
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Time:15:12 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven II
Registration: ZS-HFF
MSN: 12629
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Heilbron, Free State -   South Africa
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Nampo Park near Bothaville
Destination airport:De Hoop private farm near Frankfort
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
On Friday 19 May 2017 at approximately 1430Z, the pilot, accompanied by three passengers comprising an adult male and 3 passengers took off from Nampo Park (S2713‟936 E02639‟958) near Bothaville in Free State Province on a private flight destined for De Hoop private farm near Frankfort in Free State Province.
The flight was conducted under visual meteorological conditions (VMC) during daylight hours. According to an eyewitness at Ongegund private farm, the helicopter was approaching from the west direction towards Heilbron (Free State Province) when he heard a sudden change in the engine tone followed by the helicopter descending rapidly in a nose-down attitude. The pilot appeared to execute autorotation, as the nose of the helicopter was observed pitching up shortly before the helicopter crashed into the ground. The main rotor severed the tail boom on impact.

It was established that the helicopter hit the ground heavily during the high-velocity impact sequence. The pilot and the passengers were fatally injured during the impact sequence. The adult male passenger and the other 14-year-old male passenger survived the accident with serious injuries. Investigation of the engine and components and associated flight controls showed no malfunction.

Probable Cause
The helicopter experience engine stoppage, the pilot executed autorotation, however the helicopter was observed pitching nose up and impacted the ground in high velocity the main rotor severed the tail boom on impact.
Contributory Factor:
Undetermined engine failure.


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



Revision history:

20-May-2017 10:03 gerard57 Added
20-May-2017 11:51 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Photo, ]
20-May-2017 14:07 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type]
20-May-2017 18:39 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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