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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140521
Last updated: 19 October 2017
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Time:08:30 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22 Beta II
Owner/operator:43 Air School
Registration: ZS-RNZ
C/n / msn: 3392
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Purdon Farm, 30 km East of Port Alfred Aerodrome, Port Alfred -   South Africa
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Port Alfred Airport, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape Province (FAPA)
Destination airport:Port Alfred Airport, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape Province (FAPA)
According to an eyewitness report:

"An R22 was involved in a landing accident on the Port Alfred Airport in one of the hover squares. The student was on a pre-solo exercise. The instructor and student involved walked out unscathed other than a small bruise on the forehead of the student. They where taken to hospital and was checked out before released an hour ago.

Due to 43 Air School's track record, the SACAA entrusted the investigation with the Safety Officer of 43 Air School, Mr Des Lynch. The helicopter was removed from the scene of the accident after the CAA gave permission to do so. A full investigation will follow. The SACAA got the photo's before close down for the year. It is obvious that I cannot release any photos. A sad day, but at least the crew are unscathed and no fire ensued ( which was the biggest blessing ever as the battery broke loose and fuel was dripping out everywhere)

The official SACAA accident report (see link #4) states the following:

"The pilot, a Nigerian citizen, obtained his South African private pilotís licence (helicopter) on 18 April 2006 and
thereafter returned to Nigeria. During the period of 19 April 2006 until 8 February 2007, the pilot did not do any flying. He then returned to South Africa to continue with phase 2 of his pilot training towards obtaining a commercial pilotís licence.

After recurrency and familiarisation training consisting of four dual training flights, he was sent on a solo flight. He was required to fly from Port Alfred Aerodrome (FAPA) to the Fish River lighthouse and back to the aerodrome, a distance of approximately 18 nm one way. The duration of the flight was estimated to be 0.6 of an hour and formed part of his initial orientation. According to the pilot, he had conducted several similar flights before with a flight instructor.

On the return leg of his flight, the pilot became uncertain of his position and could not locate the Port Alfred aerodrome. Even though he remained in radio contact with the aerodrome tower (AFIS station) he was unable to locate the aerodrome.

The low fuel warning light then illuminated on the instrument panel and he opted to land as soon as possible. The pilot initiated his descent from a height of approximately 900 feet AGL (above ground level) and at approximately 600 feet AGL the engine stopped. He immediately entered an auto-rotative flight and during the flare for the landing with the terrain sloping downhill (away from the helicopter) he allowed the stinger and tail rotor blades to strike the ground, where after the helicopter came to a halt on its skids. No fuel was found on inspection of the fuel tanks following the accident.

Probable Cause : Following an engine stoppage in-flight due to fuel exhaustion, the pilot executed a hard landing, resulting in a tail rotor strike".




Port Alfred Airport

Revision history:

23-Dec-2011 08:15 FlyAfrica Added
23-Dec-2011 11:14 Geno Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
23-Dec-2011 13:51 FLYINGBROTHER1 Updated [Time, Aircraft type]
10-Oct-2016 12:30 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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