ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44135
Last updated: 21 August 2018
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:Zimmer Air Services, Inc.
Registration: C-FICL
C/n / msn: 11209
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Desert Center, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Torrance, CA (TOA)
Destination airport:Blythe, CA (BLH)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The Canadian certificated commercial helicopter pilot was conducting a cross-country delivery flight with a non-rated passenger occupying the copilot seat. The passenger and pilot together had previously made delivery flights from the Robinson factory to Canada. Two witnesses saw the helicopter just before it impacted the ground and reported that the tail boom had separated from the fuselage. No witnesses were identified who saw the initial breakup sequence. Both main rotor blades were bent downward at significant angles, with one blade having penetrated the cabin on the right side with a downward slicing front to rear arc. The primary wreckage debris field was approximately 500 feet long on an easterly heading. The helicopter sustained damage consistent with a high-energy, fuselage level, vertical ground impact. Detailed post accident investigation of the engine, the airframe, and the control systems disclosed no evidence of any preimpact anomalies. The removable cyclic was installed on the left side copilot's position, contrary to manufacturer's recommendations when a non-rated passenger is seated in the left seat. The removable pedals and collective for the left side were not installed. The cyclic controls for both the pilot's and copilot's positions were broken from their respective mounting points. The copilot's cyclic grip exhibited inward crushing. The Safety Board adopted a Special Investigation Report on April 2, 1996, following the investigation into R22 and R44 accidents involving loss of main rotor control and divergence of the main rotor disk, which included a finding that the cause of the loss of main rotor control in many of the accidents "most likely stems from a large, abrupt pilot control input to a helicopter that is highly responsive to cyclic control inputs."
Probable Cause: a loss of control and the divergence of the main rotor blade system from its normal rotational path for undetermined reasons.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
05-Dec-2017 09:11 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description