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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 238663
Last updated: 16 November 2020
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Time:10:04 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:William Taylor Aviation Ltd
Registration: G-WTWT
C/n / msn: 14294
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Herne Bay, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Orsett, near Thurrock, Essex
Destination airport:Maypole Airport (EGHB), Kent
Investigating agency: AAIB
A Robinson R44 Raven II crashed in a field and rolled over near Herne Bay, close to the A299 Thanet Way, Kent. They had been due to land at Maypole airfield in Hoath. The four occupants were uninjured.

On the day of the accident the pilot planned to fly the helicopter to a friendís house with his wife and two other friends. On arrival the intention was then to take his friend and their two daughters on a short local flight. The first flight from Orsett near Thurrock was uneventful. After landing the pilot wound the throttle back to idle but kept the rotors running. The three passengers exited the helicopter whilst the pilot remained at the controls. His friend and their two daughters then boarded the helicopter. The pilotís wife and other friend assisted them getting in and helped them with their seat belts and headsets.
As they were climbing away the pilot noticed that the left front door was not fully closed. There was approximately a half inch gap between the door and the frame. The latch appeared to be in the rear (closed) position but not rotated down. He asked the passenger to push the handle down but it would not move. He then asked the passenger to pull the door inwards and to try to latch it but he inadvertently unlatched the door and it opened 1 to 2 inches which alarmed the passenger. At this stage the pilot decided to make a precautionary landing in a field so he could close the door on the ground.

The pilot selected a suitable large field ahead. He believed he was still heading north and planned to make a crosswind approach on his current heading then turn left into wind when he was lower.

The pilot lowered the collective and established the descent. In the bottom third of the descent the pilot raised the collective to reduce the descent and tried to turn left with the cyclic. However, the helicopter did not turn. As the helicopter descended through 50 ft the pilot tried harder to turn and pulled more and more collective to reduce the rate of descent, but it did not have any effect. The engine appeared to be running and there were no warning lights or unusual vibration.

The helicopter stuck the ground with the right skid first. The skid dug in and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. The pilot and front seat passenger were able to climb out of the left front door and helped the two rear seat passengers exit. Emergency services arrived shortly afterwards. The pilot and two of the passengers had minor injuries.

After the accident, the pilot realised he had inadvertently turned right whilst trying to resolve the door problem and had made the approach track tracking north-east. He thought a possible reason for him being unable to turn was that the passenger may have inadvertently restricted the controls as the dual controls were still fitted. However, the passenger was not aware of having done this.


1. AAIB Final Report:
7. (photo)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



Photo: AAIB

Revision history:

26-Jul-2020 10:52 gerard57 Added
26-Jul-2020 11:31 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 11:33 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Embed code, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 11:35 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Damage]
26-Jul-2020 11:57 Geno Updated [Source]
26-Jul-2020 12:16 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
26-Jul-2020 12:36 Anon. Updated [Location]
26-Jul-2020 13:50 RobertMB Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 13:53 RobertMB Updated [Source]
26-Jul-2020 13:59 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 19:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 19:35 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
26-Jul-2020 22:18 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
27-Jul-2020 07:32 harro Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
07-Aug-2020 16:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
12-Aug-2020 16:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Narrative]
12-Nov-2020 20:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Nov-2020 17:03 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport]
15-Nov-2020 17:30 harro Updated [Narrative, Accident report, Photo]
16-Nov-2020 08:04 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report]

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