Accident Eurocopter EC 120B ZS-ROP, 17 Jul 2020
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 238199
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Time:10:20 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 120B
Owner/operator:Cape Town Helicopters
Registration: ZS-ROP
MSN: 1332
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Cape Town International Airport (CPT/FACT), Cape Town -   South Africa
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Cape Town International Airport (CPT/FACT)
Destination airport:Cape Town International Airport (CPT/FACT)
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The accident occurred during a turbine helicopter conversion training flight. On-board the helicopter were a flight instructor and a private pilot (who was the pilot flying and was seated on the right front seat), as well as two other passengers (also private pilots) who were seated at the back seats. After the helicopter had been airborne for approximately 40 minutes and during the pilot flying’s (PF’s) last exercise, which involved a steep approach and which they had entered into from a height of 1 000 feet (ft) above ground level (AGL), the PF’s intention was to come into a low hover (approximately 6 feet AGL) at the threshold of Runway 34. As the helicopter approached the ground, the PF was too late in his recovery technique. The helicopter yawed to the left and the right skid gear made contact with the ground, followed by a dynamic roll to the right.

As a result of an incorrect recovery technique for a steep approach, the helicopter’s right skid gear touched the ground whilst rotating to the left; this resulted in a dynamic roll-over.

1. The flight instructor’s delay to intervene timeously, and as a result, the rate of descent continued all the way to the ground, which resulted in the right skid gear making contact with the ground while the helicopter continued to yaw towards the left.
2. The lack of experience by the PF on the helicopter type as the major part of his flying experience (97%) at the time was on helicopters with counter rotating main rotor systems when viewed from above, which was the opposite (rotating clockwise) of the helicopter he was flying during the accident flight. The accident helicopter was equipped with a fenestron tail rotor which behaved slightly different to the conventional tail rotor the PF was used to.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

17-Jul-2020 16:01 Geno Added
17-Jul-2020 16:04 Geno Updated [Nature, Source]
17-Jul-2020 16:38 HeliHub Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Country, Source, Narrative]
17-Jul-2020 16:52 gerard57 Updated [Country]
17-Jul-2020 18:20 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
18-Jul-2020 17:47 A.J.Scholten Updated [Narrative]

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