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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43615
Last updated: 8 September 2021
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Time:12:34 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Astro
Owner/operator:Alex Mill Developments Inc
Registration: N18HB
MSN: 0634
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, Ochopee, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, Ochoppe, Florida (TNT/KT
Destination airport:
On January 22, 2008, at 12:34 EST (Eastern Standard Time), (unless otherwise noted, all times are based on a 24 hour clock) a Robinson R44, N18HB, registered to Alex Mill Developments Inc., collided with the ground while maneuvering over runway 27 at the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, in the vicinity of Ochopee, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the helicopter received substantial damage. The airline transport rated pilot, and private pilot passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport on January 22, 2008, at 12:33 EST.

A witness who was working at the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, mowing the grass, stated the helicopter had been practicing takeoffs and landings between 20 minutes to 1 hour. He observed the helicopter at a hover above the grass; north and parallel to the taxiway, short of the runway 27 hold line. The helicopter went up very fast to an altitude of about 200 feet and made a right turn above runway 27 in a nose down attitude. The tail of the helicopter turned 45 degrees to the left side of the runway. The helicopter made a roll to the left and became inverted. The rotor blades stopped and the helicopter continued the roll to the left until it became right side up and descended in a nose down, left turn colliding with the ground and catching fire, followed by an explosion.

The daughter of the registered owner stated the airline transport pilot had been giving her father flight instruction in rotary wing aircraft, and the daughter of the airline transport pilot confirmed her statement.

The helicopter wreckage was located 10 feet left of runway 27 on a heading of 210 degrees magnetic. Examination of the crash site revealed the helicopter collided with the ground in a nose up left skid low attitude on a heading of 250 degrees magnetic on runway 27. The landing gear separated and the bottom of the engine assembly collided with the runway. The red main rotor blade and tail rotor gearbox collided with the runway and separated. A red lens cover was present adjacent to the engine ground scar along with yellow and black paint transfer from the airframe. The helicopter continued forward 33 feet and came to rest on its left side. Oil staining from the engine oil sump and the tail rotor gearbox was present on the runway in the vicinity of the crash debris line. The crash debris line extended 50 feet.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident were a tailwind condition and the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision.


2. FAA Registration:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
06-Jun-2014 16:38 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
03-Dec-2017 09:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
01-Nov-2018 23:50 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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