Accident Robinson R22 Beta II ZK-HEQ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 273616
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Date:Sunday 2 January 2022
Time:c. 16:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R22 Beta II
Owner/operator:Alton Drilling Ltd
Registration: ZK-HEQ
MSN: 4023
Year of manufacture:2006
Engine model:Lycoming 0360 J2A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Karamea Airfield, West Coast -   New Zealand
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:Karamea Airport (NZKM)
Investigating agency: TAIC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Robinson R22 helicopter, registration ZK HEQ, was being used to transfer two passengers from Karamea to a remote landing spot in Kahurangi National Park, from where the passengers were to go hunting.
Shortly after dropping off the second passenger, and on the return flight to Karamea, the pilot experienced a vibration and heard an associated noise. The pilot considered their options and elected to proceed with the flight to Karamea.
During the landing sequence at Karamea, the helicopter broke up in the air and struck the ground. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot, who was the sole occupant, was seriously injured.

1. It is very likely that a rotor overspeed occurred causing the tail rotor drive shaft to deform.
2. The cause of the rotor overspeed was very likely a result of the helicopter being flown inadvertently outside the Robinson R22 approved rotor speed limitations.
3. The investigation could not conclusively determine when the rotor overspeed occurred and could not rule out the possibility a rotor overspeed occurred during the accident sequence at Karamea. A rotor overspeed likely happened during take-off on the return flight to Karamea.
4. After detecting an in-flight vibration, the pilot decided to continue with the 34-km flight to Karamea.
5. When landing, the increased power and addition of collective by the pilot, combined with a deformed tail rotor drive shaft, very likely led to the complete loss of tail rotor control. The helicopter broke up in flight and struck the ground.
6. It is very unlikely that a mechanical fault contributed to the rotor overspeed. 4.7. The helicopter aluminium fuel tanks had been retrofitted with bladder-fuel-type tanks to prevent a possible post-impact fire. There was no post-impact fire.
8. It is virtually certain that the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) hook and loop retaining strap failed in the accident impact. It is virtually certain that the ELT failed to activate because the activation force was dampened by the ELT separating from its mounting bracket.
9. The pilot’s logbook, the helicopter’s technical log and the Robinson R22 Pilot’s Operating Handbook were not current on the day of the accident.
10. The helicopter’s engine had exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended overhaul limit.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC
Report number: AO-2022-002
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Download report: Final report

Sources: (photo)



Revision history:

02-Jan-2022 04:47 Geno Added
02-Jan-2022 07:38 kiwiaz Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage]
02-Jan-2022 07:39 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Jan-2022 22:52 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type]
03-Jan-2022 03:58 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2022 04:02 RobertMB Updated [Location, Narrative]
03-Jan-2022 07:32 Aerossurance Updated [Phase, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2022 08:20 Planespotter20 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator]
03-Jan-2022 08:23 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
03-Jan-2022 08:57 RobertMB Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2022 08:58 RobertMB Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport]
03-Jan-2022 10:03 Aerossurance Updated [Phase, Embed code, Narrative]
06-Feb-2022 06:19 Ron Averes Updated [Location, Embed code]
07-Feb-2022 04:17 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
09-Jan-2024 10:53 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Embed code, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
09-Jan-2024 11:12 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Phase, Narrative]

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