Incident Robinson R22 Beta ZS-HXU, Tuesday 11 July 2023
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Date:Tuesday 11 July 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R22 Beta
Registration: ZS-HXU
MSN: 1562
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Johannesburg-Grand Central Airport (GCJ/FAGC) -   South Africa
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Johannesburg-Grand Central Airport (GCJ/FAGC)
Destination airport:Johannesburg-Grand Central Airport (GCJ/FAGC)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
The instructor stated that at 0950Z, they had completed three normal circuits. They then requested to perform autorotation from FAGC tower for the fourth circuit. FAGC tower granted them permission and they initiated the autorotation at 700 feet AGL. The instructor stated that at 150 feet AGL, the student pilot added power to recover but the engine did not respond. The instructor realised that the engine had stopped; he tried restarting the engine but did not have sufficient time. The helicopter lost height rapidly and crashed on Taxiway 17. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The investigation team dispatched to the site and, with the assistance of the AMO, recovered the helicopter. The engine was tested, and it operated satisfactorily whilst still in the airframe with the main rotor blades removed and the clutch disengaged. In an interview with the crew, it was found that the engine stoppage was due to possible carburettor icing.
The temperature at the time of the occurrence was 7°C and dew point was 1°C. The dew point depression of 6°C gives a 65% relative humidity which results in serious icing probability in any power setting. The crew also stated thatthe carburettor heat knob/switch was off during the autorotation practise. According to the R22 POH, carburettor heat switch must always be during autorotation and when power setting is below 18 inches of mercury. The instructor, who was the pilot monitoring the instruments during this flight, stated that the power setting was between 14- 15 inches of mercury.



Revision history:

19-Aug-2023 17:50 harro Updated

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