Accident Robinson R22 Beta F-GJBE, Tuesday 7 September 2004
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Date:Tuesday 7 September 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R22 Beta
Owner/operator:Mont Blanc Helicopters
Registration: F-GJBE
MSN: 1348
Year of manufacture:1990
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:hélisurface du Maïdo -   Reunion
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Hélisurface du Maïdo, Reunion
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: BEA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Inexperienced pilot attempted OGE takeoff at 7,000 feet on mountain. Aircraft did not have performance for anything other than an IGE Hover, performance data in flight manual indicated this to be the case. Aircraft crashed approximately 500 metres from the departure point. According to a rough translation from French into English of the official BEA Accident Investigation Report:

"The pilot is flying towards the peak of Maido, overlooking the Circus Mafate. He landed on the helipad of the Maido and is there' for about a minute, without stopping the engine. It then evolves into a hover in ground effect before beginning to start its translation for horizontal take-off above the slope, northwest of Maido.

The helicopter quickly leaves ground effect. The pilot heard the alarm "low rotor" and noted that the corresponding indicator lights. He lowers the general pitch control, to increase the plan rotor and adopts a speed of about sixty knots, downhill. The alarm continues to ring. The helicopter lost altitude and bounced on the floor flat several times and then slides over a hundred meters before stop on the right flank five hundred meters from the helipad.

The pilot landed for the first time on the helipad located at a altitude of seven thousand feet. The instructor who followed him during his entire training had advised him to land above five thousand feet, compensating his limited experience. The pilot was trained on a helicopter of the same type, but with a more powerful engine. Immediately after its formation base, he had followed the safety course of Robinson, for the carriage of passengers. During this internship, the drivers are aware of the phenomenon of "Rotor-on couple."

The spectral analysis of a video provided by a witness shows rapid decrease in the rotational speed of the main rotor, which passes from 390 rev/min to 300 rev/min in eight seconds. At the altitude of the helipad, and given the mass of the helicopter take-off (538 kg), the manual performance curves flight indicate that the power required to maintain a hover out of ground effect is greater than the power output capacity.

The pilot did not consult with the Flight Manual before departure. At takeoff, extra power is needed to to reach sufficient speed to move out of ground effect. In the conditions of the day, the engine can no longer provide that extra power, the rotor rpm decreased rapidly. To increase speed the rotor, the pilot lowered the general pitch control. The low height has not allow a maneuver effectively catch".

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Report number: BEA f-be040907
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

3 May 2004 F-GJBE Mont Blanc Hélicoptères 0 Pierrefonds, La Possession helipad, at Mafate w/o

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
10-Feb-2012 17:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
28-Sep-2016 22:32 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Country, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Sep-2016 22:33 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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