Serious incident Robinson R-44 N972SA, Friday 23 January 1998
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Date:Friday 23 January 1998
Time:00:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R-44
Owner/operator:Spencer Gordon
Registration: N972SA
MSN: 0394
Total airframe hrs:64 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-F1B5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Miami, FL -   United States of America
Phase: Taxi
Departure airport:Fort Lauderdale, FL
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
According to the pilot, as he was attempting to land, he was unable to apply left cyclic. The pilot made a run-on landing, using right turns, without further incident. Further examination of the cyclic revealed that the lateral trim actuator shaft was worn and lodged in the guide bearing, thus interfering with the surrounding structure. After this incident, the inspection criteria for the lateral cyclic trim system was reviewed. The criteria did not include a measurement of the shaft wear. There was a service bulletin, SB-19, that dealt with excessive shaft wear on Robinson R-44 helicopters, but it did not apply to the incident helicopter. Subsequent to this incident, a new Service Bulletin, SB-26, was released for R-44 helicopters, which stated that the lateral cyclic trim assembly shaft, P/N C585-1, should be measured in several places. If the shaft diameter varies more than 0.004 inches in any 0.50 inch of length, the assembly should be replaced before further flight. After the release of SB-26, a priority Airworthiness Directive (AD), AD 98-04-12, was issued to require compliance with the terms of SB-26.

Probable Cause: An inadequate service bulletin which did not require measurement of the cyclic trim assembly shaft and did not identify all helicopters in which shaft wear could lead to restricted movement of the lateral cyclic trim.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ATL98IA039
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

11-Mar-2024 19:05 ASN Update Bot Added

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