Wirestrike Accident Robinson R44 N233MP, Monday 3 January 2000
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Date:Monday 3 January 2000
Time:14:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44
Owner/operator:Avietch
Registration: N233MP
MSN: 0619
Year of manufacture:1999
Total airframe hrs:139 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-F-1B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Cayey, San Juan -   Puerto Rico
Phase: En route
Nature:Demo/Airshow/Display
Departure airport:Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport,San Juan, Puerto Rico (SIG/TJIG)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Narrative:
On January 3, 2000, at about 14:30 AST (Atlantic Standard Time), a Robinson R44, N233MP, registered to Heli-Secure Corporation, operated by Avietch, as a 14 CFR Part 91 demonstration flight crashed during a forced landing in the vicinity of Cayey, Puerto Rico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot and three passengers reported no injuries. The flight originated from San Juan, Puerto Rico, about 1 hour before the accident.

The commercial pilot stated he was in cruise flight over a residential area between 500 to 700 feet and about 70 to 80 knots, when the helicopter experienced a loss in rotor and engine rpm. He lowered the collective pitch and increased throttle with negative results. The helicopter was descending; he observed power lines to his front and an open field to his right. He started a right turn towards the field, but realized he could not make it. He saw a steel carport adjacent to a house, and made a forced landing to the carport. The helicopter touched down on the car port, the aircraft set level for about two seconds when the right skid slipped through the tin roof causing the helicopter to roll over on its right side, and the main rotor blades collided with the roof. (For additional information see NTSB pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report and Statement FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Statement an attachment to this report.)

The wreckage of N233MP was transported to Robinson Helicopter Company for further examination. The wreckage arrived in a sealed container on February 15,2000, and was examined by the NTSB and parties to the NTSB investigation on March 27, 2000. Examination of the airframe and flight control assembly revealed no evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. The engine assembly was mounted in a dynamometer test cell on March 28, 2000. The engine produced corrected power of 252 horsepower at 2,800 rpm which exceeds the R44 de-rated requirements of 225 horsepower 5-minute takeoff rating and maximum continuous rating of 205 horsepower at 2,692 rpm.

After the test run, the engine was examined for leaks, cracks, or other anomalies. None were found. The engine did not exhibit any excessive heat discoloration or evidence of excessive oil consumption.

The Robinson Helicopter Pilot's Operating Handbook contains policies regarding the use of carburetor heat. The handbook states: "If an unexplained drop in manifold pressure or rpm occurs, apply full carb heat for about one minute and check for an increase in manifold pressure or rpm. Regardless of CAT gauge temperature, apply full carb heat prior to reducing power for descent or autorotation." The carb heat control was found in the cold (off) position and the pilot stated in his pilot report that he did not use carb heat and suspected that might be the cause for the engine power loss. The wreckage of N233MP was released to Mr. Sherwood Bresler, Robison Helicopter Company on May 29, 2001.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to use carburetor heat as required by the Pilot's Operating Handbook resulting in a loss of engine and rotor rpm, forced landing to none suitable terrain (residence), and subsequent roll over.

Accident investigation:
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Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: MIA00FA060
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

1. NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001212X20402&key=1
2. FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=233MP
3. http://aviationweek.com/awin/four-escape-crash-robinson-helicopter-without-injury
4. http://ihst.rotor.com/portals/54/jhsat/accident_reports/197058.pdf
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayey,_Puerto_Rico

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
17-Dec-2011 23:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
12-Nov-2014 18:32 Anon. Updated [Cn, Narrative]
19-Aug-2016 18:41 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Country, Nature, Source, Narrative]
12-Dec-2017 18:18 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
12-Oct-2018 15:04 Dr.John Smith Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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