Accident Robinson R44 ZS-RLT, Friday 11 May 2001
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Date:Friday 11 May 2001
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44
Registration: ZS-RLT
MSN: 0720
Year of manufacture:2000
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Taxiway Mkuze Aerodrome -   South Africa
Departure airport:FAGM
Destination airport:Mkuze (Near Pongola, Kwazulu Natal)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The private pilot was accompanied by his wife and child on a private flight from FAGM to Mkuze Falls Game Lodge and departed FAGM at approximately 1200 Z. The pilot landed at Mkuze aerodrome at approximately 1430 Z to refuel the helicopter before continuing towards Mkuze Falls Game Lodge. After refueling and at approximately 1500 Z, the pilot commenced with the start-up and went though the start-up checklist while parked on the taxiway adjacent to runway 17/35. One of the items on the checklist is the low rpm warning system, which requires the pilot to lift the collective lever slightly while rolling off the throttle to be certain that the low rpm warning is functioning correctly. It was during this procedure that the helicopter inadvertently became airborne and started to rotate to the left. The pilot attempted to keep the helicopter in the hover instead of landing back and further raised the collective lever. The tail-boom contacted the ground and a portion of it was severed by the main rotors. The helicopter came to rest on its right-hand side. Although the helicopter was extensively damaged in the process, none of the occupants or any of the bystanders were injured. PROBABLE CAUSE: The helicopter inadvertently became airborne while the pilot was testing the low-rpm warning system and lifted the collective lever without rolling off the throttle sufficiently.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



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