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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 194429
Last updated: 8 August 2020
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Time:18:42 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22 Beta
Owner/operator:Grumbles Developments Ltd
Registration: ZK-IHA
C/n / msn: 0188
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:40 km SE of Westport, 5.5 miles N of Reefton -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Westport, New Zealand
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
A Robinson R22 helicopter, registration ZK-IHA, was carrying a slung load as part of a local aerial hunting operation near Reefton. Shortly after take-off, while the helicopter was climbing over densely forested terrain, the helicopter and load struck the tree canopy and then the
terrain. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot, who was the sole person on board, was fatally injured.

TAIC Findings:
1. A low-rotor-speed event likely occurred. However, it could not be determined if this event occurred before the initial impact with the tree canopy or during the subsequent descent.
2. The environmental conditions at the time of the accident had the potential to affect the safe conduct of the flight.
3. The engine was in a condition that would have likely prevented it being capable of producing the maximum specified power.
4. The helicopter lifted off and the pilot flew over densely forested terrain, when alternative flight paths were available that offered less risk in the event of an aircraft emergency.
5. The investigation was unable to determine conclusively why the helicopter struck the tree canopy and subsequently the terrain. However, it was likely due to either:
- the engine not delivering the demanded power, or
- the pilot inadvertently not maintaining a suitable clearance above the tree canopy.
6. The helicopter had not been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the Civil Aviation Rules, and the engine showed signs of wear that were inconsistent with the hours recorded in its logbook.
7. The pilot had conducted a commercial flight, which was beyond the privileges of the pilot’s private pilot licence.
8. The Civil Aviation Authority’s regulatory and surveillance controls in place for the noncommercial aviation sector were broadly aligned with international standards and recommendations for this sector.


2. NTSB Identification: WPR17WA083 at

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC New Zealand
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: TAIC

Revision history:

27-Mar-2017 19:21 angels one five Added
27-Mar-2017 21:28 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
27-Mar-2017 21:33 Iceman 29 Updated [Location, Narrative, Photo, ]
27-Mar-2017 21:44 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Damage]
27-Mar-2017 23:15 angels one five Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
13-Aug-2018 18:01 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
29-May-2020 08:00 harro Updated [Time, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]
08-Aug-2020 03:52 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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