Accident Robinson R44 ZS-RFB, Friday 18 August 2000
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Date:Friday 18 August 2000
Time:11:15 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44
Registration: ZS-RFB
MSN: 0102
Year of manufacture:1994
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Private game farm, 8NM north-east of Vaalwater -   South Africa
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that there was a loss of power and he decided to carry out a precautionary landing in an open area at a Private game farm, 8NM north-east of Vaalwater. The reported loss of engine power is not supported by the video. It is clear that the pilot held the helicopter in a hover and then landed in the vicinity of tall grass.

The pilot held a valid Private Pilot’s Licence and the aircraft type was endorsed onto his licence. According to available documentation the aircraft was serviceable prior to the accident. The engine was partially dismantled and examined, but no defects were found that could have led to a loss of power or an engine failure. However, due to the fire damage it was not possible to examine the fuel system of the helicopter, nor the engine’s electrical system.

The helicopter, as well as a large area of grassland was destroyed during the ensuing fire. During the on-site investigation and from the video, it was observed that the grass in the immediate area around the helicopter was dry and on average about 30 cm high.

Probable Cause: The pilot landed the helicopter in the vicinity of tall grass. From the video it would appear that the helicopter set fire to the surrounding grass, which in turn set the helicopter on fire.

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


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
18-Dec-2011 16:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Registration, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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