Excellent article and analysis! The cause has yet to be determined, but the type of helicopter is well known to accident investigators: the Robinson R44. “When the answer is, ‘We don’t keep databases because every time something goes wrong we fix it,’ that doesn’t answer the question of just what is the story, what is going on here?” said Hart, the former NTSB chairman. “It was like a train hitting a wall,” said Paddi Faubion, who saw the Jan. 30 crash from her balcony in a gated Newport Beach neighborhood. This is not the place to pinch pennies or cut corners; if that’s your style then helicopters are not for you. “It’s another thing, from an engineering standpoint, to say, ‘How are you going to do this?’ This is not a simple thing to do.”. In early 1995, the NTSB asked the FAA to ground Robinson helicopters to allow for further research and testing. Before taking delivery, pilots have to meet minimum qualifications and agree to specific flying restrictions on the flight home. Sign up for our free email newsletter, packed with tips, tricks and news for pilots. The FAA rejected that claim. USA Today, with help from trial lawyers, gets it exactly wrong, Flying is not an extreme sport – time to get serious about safety, General aviation in Europe is both inspiring and frightening, News January 2019 : "The Circuit" – Quality Aviation Information Hub, Les Robinson R44 seraient-ils dangereux ? Did you know that most of the articles at Air Facts are written by readers like you? and remote spots because some fragile piece of the Rube Goldberg designed piece of flying pre-stressed garbage…I was flyin in…decided to take a shit. This increased the fuel capacity but left the tanks susceptible to post-crash leaks and fires. Full of commun sense and not only perceptions ! Thanks for your blunt response, it was received with a chuckle! “I was very happy when they emerged alive,” said golfer Kevin Keating, who saw the R44 fall from the sky. “People who like adventure are attracted to our products,” he said. The agency’s estimates, published each year by a group of professional statisticians and currently available through 2016, are based on a survey sent to operators in the field. RHC has also paid out settlements to people injured or killed in post crash fires and therefore as you said encourages owners to retrofit earlier R44’s with the bladder tank kit and requires it at the mandatory airframe overhaul. If a pilot is willing to fly with 1/2 mile and near fog weather, just because they “are legal”, then you have a perfect recipe for an accident. One issue that does seem to be more common in R44s is post-crash fires. More than 600 people have perished in Robinson crashes around the world since 1982. Kurt Robinson said it took until 2009 to develop a suitable bladder for his helicopters, disputing allegations in wrongful-death lawsuits that the company could have acted sooner. The company president, Kurt Robinson, contested his helicopter’s place atop The Times’ accident-rate ranking. This time was different: The student was carrying a cassette recorder to capture her flight lesson on tape, which revealed no warning of trouble. All escaped just before fire destroyed the helicopter. Heavy winds, sunset, and poor visibility over open water. “I believe RHC divests itself of all records in an attempt to have ‘plausible deniability’ related to responsibility.”. The NTSB ruled the crash was caused by “the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate main rotor rpm, for undetermined reasons.” Wells contends the accident was not his fault and might have been averted if Robinson had divulged what it had known for 16 years about a phenomenon known as mast-rocking, or chug. But those systems vary, and Robinson uses its own version of a two-bladed main rotor that teeters on a hub atop the mast. Using your formula, just counting WA’s fatals, The Aus fleet of R44’s have a 0.7% fatality involvement since 2008, the number will actually be highher, as it doesn’t count other state fatalities. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering and then spent 16 years working for aircraft manufacturers, including major helicopter makers Bell and Hughes. It is a reliable, capable performer, and I’ve flown it on both long cross countries and on short local flights to tight landing spots. Cheers, was an interesting article. Even using the company’s estimated flight hours — nearly 40% more than the FAA’s — the R44 still had the highest rate at 1.17 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours. Inadequate training for your customers knowing that if they screw up it is going to cost you one way or the other. Did you know that most of the articles at Air Facts are written by readers like you? If anything, these numbers show that helicopters in general have a worse safety record than airplanes. We photographed the R44 and called the airport Manager. Instead of sharing the report with pilots, owners or the FAA, the company argued in legal proceedings that it contained proprietary information. It's always a challenge to describe how magnificently complex the Bone is: I finally settled on "the…, The proper procedure in cases where VFR conditions are questionable is to file IFR and get a clearance (with clearance void time) before takeoff. The helicopter that crashed in Newport Beach in January, killing the pilot and two passengers, was operated by a flight school and touring company and was headed to Catalina Island. Correction to the part about bladder fuel tanks. In some helicopters, it might cause only minor damage. But mast bumping isn’t really a design defect, it’s simply a fact, whether you’re flying a Huey or an R22. From 1981 through early 1992, about two dozen R22s were involved in fatal U.S. crashes linked to a loss of control. Copter went down in Natewa Bay, Vanua Levu. Accidents always happen for a reason and that reason must be found. After flying in various helicopters from various services over a long enlistment….while executing my job in the U.S. Navy…at my elderly age now, I’ll allow transport from an accident site to the trauma hospital if I need to. Beyond poor training and certification levels, the other side of the equation, as far as helicopter accident causation, is the lack of risk management training and desire on the part of these R44 and R22 owners and pilots. Neither was making the helicopter for the masses that he envisioned.

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