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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44219
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Time:08:15 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22
Owner/operator:Starlight Aviation
Registration: ZS-RXA
MSN: 3862
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:800m off-shore near Cape Point (at 34°20.465 S, 018°28.991 E) -   South Africa
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Cape Town International Aerodrome Cape Town, RSA (FACT)
Destination airport:Cape Town International Aerodrome Cape Town, RSA (FACT)
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
On January 17, 2006, about 0815 UTC, South African registry ZS-RXA,, a Robinson R22, operated by Starlight Aviation, collided with water during cruise flight near Cape Point, South Africa. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The helicopter was on a local flight that originated at Cape Town, South Africa.

The student pilot was conducting flight around Cape Point, when according to witnesses, the helicopter abruptly departed from normal attitude, and descended into the sea. According to the following excerpt from the official South African accident report:

"Prior to the flight, the student pilot was briefed by the chief flight instructor of the training school on the route he should take and the heights he should fly as well as the recommended reporting points. The route as discussed was drawn onto the student pilot’s map by the flight instructor, which he took with him on the flight.

A few minutes after he became airborne, a fellow student pilot of the same school, also flying a Robinson R22 (ZS-RUX) met up with him and they continued to fly in a loose formation past the V&A Waterfront around the Sea Point area over Clifton, Llandudno and then inland to Hout Bay.

According to a statement by the flight instructor, the student pilot should have flown from Hout Bay to Muizenberg over land and back to FACT. However, both helicopters proceed to fly along the coast from Noordhoek around Cape Point with the aircraft ZS-RUX leading the two aircraft in a loose formation.

As they passed Cape Point, approaching abeam Rooikrans, several members of a hiking party saw the helicopter (ZS-RXA), which was flying slightly behind the other helicopter, suddenly nose dive and crash in a nose-down attitude into the sea. The impact occurred approximately 800 metres offshore. They immediately notified the local fire station, which in turn informed Cape Town ATC (air traffic control)".


1. NTSB Identification: WAS06WA007 at

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
29-Sep-2016 18:21 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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