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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 237656
Last updated: 29 July 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven I
Owner/operator:Avanova Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-NBY
C/n / msn: 2544
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Broome, Bilingurr, WA -   Australia
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
A Robinson R44 Raven I has crashed in in the Broome suburb of Bilingurr, carrying four persons.
The pilot and a passenger died in the crash, two others were seriously injured.

“Based on CCTV footage and examination of the wreckage, ATSB investigators have been able to determine that the helicopter’s tail rotor gearbox, tail rotor and tail assembly separated from the helicopter soon after take-off,” said ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood.

Following the in-flight separation of the tail, the helicopter then fell to the ground, out of control.

“We appreciate that this information may be confronting to the families and friends affected by this tragic accident, and it is for this reason that the ATSB will not be releasing the CCTV footage due to its potentially distressing nature,” Mr Hood said.

Since arriving on site in Broome on Monday, transport safety investigators have conducted a detailed inspection of the helicopter wreckage, and are arranging to transport relevant components back to the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra for further examination.

Investigators have also interviewed a pilot who flew the accident aircraft on 2 July who reported feeling unusual vibrations through the tail rotor pedals. The pilot of the accident flight also conducted a short flight in the helicopter and confirmed the unusual vibrations.

Maintenance personnel subsequently conducted a dynamic tail rotor balance on the day before the accident.

“At this stage the reasons for the in-flight breakup, and the significance of the reported vibrations through the tail rotor pedals, are not known, and the ATSB will provide further advice when relevant information is available,” Mr Hood said.

“While the investigation is on-going, the ATSB urges any R44 pilot that experiences unusual vibrations through the tail rotor pedals to land as soon as possible.”

As the investigation progresses, the ATSB will continue to liaise with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the US National Transportation Safety Board, and the Robinson Helicopter Company.

The Robinson R44 was certified in December 1992 and the model involved in this accident, the R44 Raven I, was introduced in January 2000. There are currently 558 R44s on the Australian civil aircraft register.




Revision history:

04-Jul-2020 08:15 gerard57 Added
04-Jul-2020 08:18 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Jul-2020 08:33 Geno Updated [Location, Source]
04-Jul-2020 09:46 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Total fatalities, Phase, Nature, Narrative]
04-Jul-2020 20:17 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Source]
05-Jul-2020 02:41 Pineapple Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Source]
06-Jul-2020 02:20 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
10-Jul-2020 11:48 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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