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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 216678
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Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Owner/operator:FFA Assets (Pty) Ltd
Registration: ZU-UHI
MSN: 13729
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:In a dam on the farm -   South Africa
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Tulbach Aerodrome
Destination airport:Tulbach Aerodrome
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The helicopter was dispatched to the farm "Orchards" at de Doorns in the Western Cape to conduct fire fighting operations. Four water drops had been made using a bambi bucket. The helicopter returned to the dam to uplift a fifth bucket of water. The pilot had just transitioned to hover when he heard a strange noise accompanied by a vibration. The noise got louder and he observed smoke coming from the rear of the helicopter. It yawed to the left and the low rotor rpm warning light illuminated along with an audio warning. He was unable to maintain altitude and the helicopter impacted the water. It remained afloat for a while and the pilot was able to exit the helicopter and swim to the side. The helicopter then slowly sank and rolled over onto its port side where it remained partially submerged. It was later recovered using a heavy lift helicopter and was then transported to an Approved Maintenance Organization in Cape Town. The engine was stripped down and it was found that two internal roller bearings had failed after the carbon seals had disintegrated after being exposed to excessive heat. The engine, fitted in October 2006, had been in storage for 15 years prior to installation. Two safety recommendations raised.

The helicopter was repaired and returned to service. It later crashed on 22 April 2015 in an accident during fire fighting operations at du Toits Kloof, resulting in the loss of two lives.


1. Huey has emergency landing in a dam
2. SACAA Accident Report 8248

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

22 Apr 2015 ZU-UHI Working on fire (WOF) FFA Assets Pty Ltd 2 Bainskloof near Wellington in the Western Cape w/o

Revision history:

25-Oct-2018 22:15 Topaz Added
25-Oct-2018 22:17 Topaz Updated [Location, Narrative]
25-Oct-2018 22:19 Topaz Updated [Location]
22-Sep-2020 07:48 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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