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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 37950
Last updated: 11 February 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22
Owner/operator:Tejas Helicopters
Registration: N9063Z
C/n / msn: 0147
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Highway 290, near Paige, Texas -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Clover Field, Houston, Texas
Destination airport:Tims Airport, Austin, Texas
Investigating agency: NTSB
On September 30, 1982, about 13:07 CDT (Central Daylight Time) N9063Z, a Robinson R 22 operated by Tejas Helicopters crashed near Paige, Texas, during a personal cross-country flight. After the helicopter's annual inspection, the aircraft mechanic/pilot departed Clover Field in Houston, Texas, about 11:30 en route to the R22's home base at Tim's Airpark.

The helicopter was last seen in cruise flight traveling westbound over U.S. Highway 290, when motorists heard a loud noise then witnessed pieces of the helicopter falling from the helicopter. The pieces seen by one witness were later identified as the tail boom and tail rotor assembly. The tail boom was located on the north side of highway 290. The main wreckage, which included the fuselage, engine, transmission, main rotor assembly, and landing skids, crashed on Highway 290, and was scattered about 117 feet to south side of Highway 290. The pilot, holder of a private pilot
certificate with a helicopter rating, was killed. His logbook indicated a total of 290.1 hours of flight experience, 84.6 of which were in the R22. Visual meteorological conditions were reported, with 3,000 foot broken clouds, 15 miles visibility, and winds from 130 degrees at 12 knots.

Multiple electrical transmission lines crossed highway 290, near the crash site; the wires revealed no evidence of having been struck by the helicopter.

The NTSB's examination of the wreckage found that one main rotor blade had separated at the attachment of the blade spar to the root fitting. A NTSB metallurgist reported that the blade separation resulted from gross over stress caused by excessive bending.

The blade and highway surface exhibited evidence that showed that the blade contacted the highway during the crash sequence. The other main rotor blade remained attached to the main rotor hub and was bent upwards 180 degrees, about 18 inches outboard of the blade root fitting. The tail boom exhibited evidence that a main rotor blade had struck the left side of the tail boom aft of the rotating beacon. The main rotor blade also contained white paint transfer matching the white paint on the tail boom. A forward section of tail boom also contained evidence that it had been struck by a main rotor blade, and the other tail boom sections were separated at the manufacturing
rivet lines. Rotational scoring was noted on the interior tail rotor drive shaft and tail boom.

The main rotor mast was partially separated at the top of the transmission. The upper mast between the swashplate and main rotor hub exhibited severe indentations. The inboard edges of the main rotor hub contained indentations in positions corresponding to the tusks normally attached to the main rotor spindles. The damage was consistent with the rotor blades traveling beyond their design limits in the up and down direction (flapping). A complete disassembly of the engine revealed no anomalies with the internal engine components.

Examination of the flight controls revealed the collective control was in the "full up" position with the friction lock applied and the throttle control was jammed in the "full open" position. The NTSB could find no evidence of pre-impact failure or evidence of a specific event that caused or allowed the main rotor blades to diverge from their normal flight path plane and strike the tail boom. Therefore, the probable cause of the accident is listed as undetermined in the NTSB's brief of the accident.


1. NTSB Identification: FTW82FA402:
2. FAA:

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation A-82-143 issued 27 October 1982 by NTSB
Safety recommendation A-82-144 issued 27 October 1982 by NTSB to FAA

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
07-Feb-2016 20:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
25-May-2016 12:56 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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