Accident Robinson R44 Raven II ZS-RKK, Friday 8 September 2023
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Date:Friday 8 September 2023
Time:10:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: ZS-RKK
MSN: 11338
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:2080 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Category:Accident
Location:40 km NW of Rustenburg area -   South Africa
Phase: Standing
Nature:Private
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The helicopter took off from the pilot's private farm in the area of Lindleyspoort as a sole occupant to a private farm Prince situated 40 km in the direction north-west of Rustenburg area.
According to the pilot who is also the owner, he took off from his farm on a private flight with intentions to go assist in locating games (wild animals) on one of his friend's private farm. Upon arrival at the farm, the helicopter was landed on an open field with long dry grass. During landing while still settling the helicopter and was initiating a shutdown procedure, the pilot noticed one of the farm workers waving to him and pointing towards the rear. As the pilot looked, he noticed a smoke emanating from the side of the exhaust. At the time the engine had already been shut down. The pilot jumped outside with the onboard fire extinguisher with intention to extinguish the fire. Due to the intensity of the fire and the size of the extinguisher, the attempt was in vain. The fire got intense and suddenly set the helicopter alight. The pilot and other people run away from the intense fire to a distance and watched the helicopter engulfed by the veld fire that erupted. The helicopter was destroyed by fire.


Probable Cause
The pilot landed the helicopter on tall dry grass which ignited on contact with the hot exhaust; the helicopter was consumed by the fire.

Contributing Factor(s)
1. The pilot disregarded the safe operation of the helicopter by landing on tall dry grass whilst being aware that the helicopter was not equipped with the Muffler and Tailpipe Shield Kit as per the SB-46 and whilst he understood the risks associated with such landing conditions.
2. The pilot ignored Safety Tip 15 and Safety Notice SN-17 in Section 10 of the POH by not choosing a safe suitable area to land.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: CA18/2/3/10364
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

FlyAfrica Group
https://caasanwebsitestorage.blob.core.windows.net/occurencereports/August%202023.pdf
https://www.rodbearden.com/South%20Africa%202018/Grand%20Central%20Airport/Robinson%20R44%20Raven%20II%20ZS-RKK%201.JPG (photo)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Sep-2023 07:38 Captain Adam Added
28-Sep-2023 12:44 harro Updated
22-Nov-2023 18:31 harro Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Narrative, Accident report]
22-Dec-2023 17:06 harro Updated [Date, Other fatalities]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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