6 May 2016

Calls for training and operational changes for Robinson helicopters

2:39 pm on 6 May 2016

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has called for more training and operational changes for Robinson helicopters following an investigation into a 2013 fatal helicopter accident.

The commission investigated the crash of a Robinson R66 helicopter in the Kaweka Ranges in March 2013 which killed the pilot.

It determined the main rotor blade hit the helicopter fuselage causing the helicopter to break up.

The [ http://www.taic.org.nz/ReportsandSafetyRecs/AviationReports/tabid/78/ctl/Detail/mid/482/InvNumber/2013-003/Page/0/language/en-US/Default.aspx?SkinSrc=skins/taicAviation/skin_aviation commission's report' said Robinson helicopters were sensitive to flying in areas where there was high wind or turbulence.

It recommended changes to operating handbooks that caution against flight in high winds and turbulence.

The R66 is a new Robinson model but the accident report said the rotor blade problem also affected the other two types of Robinson helicopter flown in New Zealand, the R22 and the R44.

The commission recommended additional training as a prerequisite for piloting a Robinson helicopter.