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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188970
Last updated: 29 May 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R-22 Beta
Owner/operator:Plane Talking Ltd
Registration: G-UESY
MSN: 2801
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Elstree Aerodrome, Elstree, Hertfordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Elstree, Hertfordshire (ETR/EGTR)
Destination airport:Elstree, Hertfordshire (ETR/EGTR)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 17-01-2004: During training session at Elstree Aerodrome, skids dug in soft ground, causing helicopter to roll over. No injury to 2 Persons On Board (Instructor and Pilot Under Training). According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The student pilot was assessed by his instructor as competent in hovering, spot turns, hover taxiing, ascending and descending. He had also 'followed through' on the controls, on many occasions, while the instructor had demonstrated takeoffs and landings. It was now considered time to allow the student to practice takeoffs and landings under supervision using the helicopter manoeuvring area; an area on the airfield of soft, waterlogged and undulating mown grass.

For the first practice landing the instructor elected to position the helicopter so that the student could approach 'down-sun' avoiding a possible distraction from the glare. This meant that the helicopter would be subjected to in a light quartering tailwind from the left. The resultant landing, although firm, was controlled. During the student's first takeoff the helicopter rocked forward due to incorrect positioning of the rotor disc.

The instructor re-briefed the correct technique in the air emphasising the need to apply a corrective cyclic input during the takeoff, as the Robinson R22 has a tendency to lift right skid first. The following landing was again firm but carried out under control.

On the second takeoff the student allowed the helicopter to once again rock forward as it became light on its skids. As it did so the instructor applied a slight rearward correction to the cyclic control to prevent the helicopter from tipping forwards. During this correction the helicopter rolled rapidly to the left. Before any further corrective action could be taken, the rotor blades hit the ground and the helicopter yawed to the right, hitting the ground on its left side. Both the instructor and student, who were wearing lap and diagonal harnesses, were able to vacate the cockpit through the broken windscreen without injury."

Nature of Damage to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Moderate damage to rotor blades and cockpit area". The damage was presumably re-assessed at a later date as being "beyond economic repair", as the registration G-UESY was cancelled by the CAA on 19-05-2006 (over two years later) as "Permanently withdrawn from use".


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:
4. R-22B G-UESY as Duxford 23-09-2003:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

31-Jul-2016 22:37 Dr.John Smith Added

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