Loss of control Accident Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri ZK-HEK, Tuesday 15 December 2020
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Date:Tuesday 15 December 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri
Registration: ZK-HEK
MSN: 1023
Year of manufacture:1998
Total airframe hrs:2626 hours
Engine model:Turbomeca Arrius 2F
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Kekerengu River, Canterbury -   New Zealand
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Rangiora
Destination airport:Kekerengu
Investigating agency: TAIC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot was using the EC 120B helicopter ZK-HEK to fly their family and a friend from Rangiora to Kekerengu north of Kaikoura for lunch at a café. Flying towards the beach, the helicopter suddenly started yawing left and descending. The helicopter crashed on the beach.
The two adults, including the pilot, were killed and the helicopter was destroyed. The three children were seriously or moderately injured but survived.

The weather was suitable for the flight with a moderate northeasterly onshore breeze blowing. The pilot had not landed at the café before and was conducting a reconnaissance of the intended landing area. The helicopter slowed as it was turned towards the beach and downwind for a second pass at low level. The slow airspeed combined with increasing power caused the helicopter to suddenly yaw uncontrolled to the left, very likely startling the pilot.

The rate of yaw increased, and the pilot was unable to regain control before the helicopter crashed onto the beach. The impact forces were determined to be non-survivable. However, the three children did survive, albeit with serious or moderate injuries, very likely because of their smaller physical size and mass.

The investigation determined that the pilot did not pick up on the visual indications about the performance of the helicopter, resulting in it slowing at a critical phase of the flight. The pilot’s inexperience was a key factor.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 3 months
Download report: Final report



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dis7kbr5rP8/UsSzAz3s_5I/AAAAAAAAT_4/NxHk5rdCr-k/s1600/HEK+Garden+City+CH+02-01-14+Bargeld01+(2).jpg (photo)



Ardmore 14Nov2016


Revision history:

15-Dec-2020 01:41 Geno Added
15-Dec-2020 01:58 Geno Updated [Source]
15-Dec-2020 04:20 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source]
15-Dec-2020 06:19 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
15-Dec-2020 07:54 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
16-Dec-2020 19:37 Anon. Updated [Embed code, Photo]
01-Feb-2022 06:27 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
22-Sep-2023 19:57 harro Updated
22-Nov-2023 21:01 harro Updated [Other fatalities]

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