Accident Robinson R44 G-OUEL, Wednesday 30 July 2003
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Date:Wednesday 30 July 2003
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44
Owner/operator:Universal Energy Ltd
Registration: G-OUEL
MSN: 1235
Year of manufacture:2002
Engine model:Textron Lycoming O-540-F1B5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Carlenrig, Teviothead, near Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hawick, Borders, Scotland
Destination airport:Barton Airport, Lancashire (EGCB)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Written off (destroyed) 30-07-2003 when crashed at Carlenrig, Teviothead, near Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland. The pilot - named in contemporary media reports as multiple times "Superbike" motorcycle racing champion Steve Hislop - was killed. Unusually, the AAIB report as not released until 04-05-2008, almost five years after the accident. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The helicopter departed on a VFR flight from a private site near Hawick in Scotland to route to Barton Airfield in Manchester. Initially it flew southwards at 1,500 feet amsl but as it approached hills, whose tops were reportedly covered by an area of low cloud, it turned away from the planned route and probably entered cloud. As the turn continued the helicopter accelerated, entered a rapid descent and the main rotor blades struck the tail boom.

Most of the tail boom detached, the rotors virtually stopped and the helicopter impacted the ground at the bottom of a valley, fatally injuring the pilot. A number of military aircraft were operating in the area at the time of the accident but none of these could have influenced the safe progress of the flight.

No signs of pre-accident malfunction of the helicopter were found, but full determination of its pre-impact serviceability was prevented by extensive post-crash fire damage. The available evidence indicated that the accident followed a main rotor blade strike on the tail boom, probably caused by excessively low rotor RPM.

The control loss and low rotor RPM may have resulted from spatial disorientation and mishandling of the controls but the possibility that aircraft malfunction had contributed to the accident could not be eliminated."

Nature of Damage to Airframe: Per the AAIB report "Helicopter destroyed". As a result, the registration G-OUEL was cancelled by the CAA on 23-02-2004 as "Destroyed"

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/C2003/07/06
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

27-Jul-2016 20:54 Dr.John Smith Added

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