Accident Sud Aviation SE 3130 Alouette II ZU-RAJ,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 246609
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Sunday 10 January 2021
Time:07:45 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic ALO2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sud Aviation SE 3130 Alouette II
Registration: ZU-RAJ
MSN: 1414
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Brits, North West Province -   South Africa
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Brits (FABS)
Destination airport:Brits (FABS)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot and two passengers on-board a SE 3130-Alouette II single-engine helicopter with registration ZU-RAJ took off on a scenic flight from Brits Aerodrome (FABS) in the North West province to Roodekoppies Dam, which is approximately 12.5 nautical miles (nm) from FABS. The flight duration was approximately 20 minutes. The flight was conducted under visual flight rules (VFR) by day.
The pilot stated that during pre-flight inspections, the fuel gauge was showing 400 litres in the tank after uplifting fuel at Wonderboom Aerodrome (FAWB). The pilot clarified that the fuel quantity would have been about 300 litres in the tank as the helicopter’s fuel gauge was over reading by about 100 litres. He also stated that after refuelling on the morning of 10 January 2021, he flew to FABS. During the on-site investigation, investigators could not find any records to confirm the upliftment of fuel at FAWB.
The pilot stated that on the day of the accident he was flying along the Crocodile River from FABS to Roodekoppies Dam and had already completed two scenic flights and was on his third scenic flight with passengers on-board. The first flight was approximately 1 hour; the second flight was about 30 minutes; and the third flight (accident flight) lasted approximately 20 minutes. He stated that while at approximately 200 feet (ft) above ground level (AGL) the engine stopped and all he saw were red warning lights on the cockpit glareshield. He then auto-rotated the helicopter, but the helicopter got submerged in water (river) as everything happened very quickly.
The pilot swam out of the river and walked approximately 2 kilometres (km) to seek help. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) were called to the scene. On their arrival, they found one passenger who had succumbed to his injuries while the other passenger was clinging to one of the main rotor blades which was sticking out of the submerged helicopter.

The probable cause of this engine failure could be attributed to the helicopter having had inadequate amount of fuel on-board to complete the three scenic flights. It is likely that the helicopter was being flown at a low altitude to enable the passengers to have a better aerial view of the Crocodile River. When the engine failed, the pilot did not have time to follow the engine failure procedures, which led to a crash.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

10-Jan-2021 22:53 Captain Adam Added
11-Jan-2021 00:40 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source, Narrative]
11-Jan-2021 05:22 Geno Updated [Source]
03-Feb-2021 09:40 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
03-Feb-2021 09:40 harro Updated [Narrative]
06-Jan-2022 20:21 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314