Accident Robinson R44 Cadet N234ZT,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 386363
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Date:Saturday 6 April 2024
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44 Cadet
Owner/operator:Drax Enterprise LLC
Registration: N234ZT
MSN: 30027
Year of manufacture:2017
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Key Biscayne, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Miami Executive Airport, FL (TMB/KTMB)
Destination airport:North Eleuthera Airport (MYEH), Bahamas
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On April 6, 2024, about 1350 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R-44, N234ZT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Key Biscayne, Florida. The pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he topped off all fuel tanks at Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida, completed a preflight inspection, and was flying with on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan with VFR flight following services to North Eleuthera Airport (MYEH), North Eleuthera, Bahamas. About 20 minutes after departure, after leveling off, he felt a millisecond “jerk.” Although there were caution/warning illuminations or aural warnings, and the engine gauges were all “in the green,” he turned back toward land as a precaution. A minute later, he felt another “jerk,” descended to 500 ft above ground level then felt a longer “shake,” at which time he declared an emergency. He began hearing odd engine sounds and noted that he was having to add power although the helicopter was decelerating. While maneuvering the helicopter as close to land as possible, the low rpm horn sounded, the engine lost all power. The pilot began an autorotation, entering the Atlantic Ocean about 1 nm from Key Biscayne at a 30º angle to prevent excessive impact to the lower fuselage.

The helicopter’s windscreen fractured, and the tail rotor separated from the fuselage, when the helicopter impacted the water at about 35 kts. Although the cockpit was filling with water, the auto-inflated lifejacket prevented the pilot from being able to exit the helicopter. Upon removal of the life jacket, he was able to exit the helicopter and swim up to the surface, where he was rescued.

The helicopter was recovered and retained for further examination.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


NTSB (photo)



Revision history:

06-Apr-2024 19:08 Captain Adam Added
07-Apr-2024 08:28 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative, Category]
07-Apr-2024 08:29 ASN Updated [Time, Location, Source]
07-Apr-2024 11:47 vasilf Updated [Embed code]
24-Apr-2024 19:37 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

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