Accident McDonnell Douglas MD 500E (369E) ZS-HVO, 18 Apr 2005
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 273195
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 H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD 500E (369E)
Registration: ZS-HVO
MSN: 0350E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage:
Location:Road construction site ±20nm south-east of Ugie -   South Africa
Departure airport:Margate Aerodrome (FAMG)
Destination airport:Road Construction site ±20nm south-east of Ugie (Eastern Cape)
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On 18 April 2005, the pilot, accompanied by a colleague departed Richards Bay from the Bell Equipment hangar en route to Stanger where they landed and collected another colleague. From Stanger they flew to Margate aerodrome, where they landed and the helicopter was refuelled to capacity, uplifting 205 litres of Jet A1. From Margate they had to fly to a road construction site near Langeni, which was located approximately 20nm southeast of the town of Ugie. The purpose of the flight was for factory technicians to attend to a breakdown on a Bell Equipment earthmoving vehicle/truck. As they approached the construction site flying from North to South crossing the ridge the helicopter was observed by an eyewitness to slightly dropped its nose followed by a sudden violent spin in a clockwise direction. After loosing a considerable amount of height the helicopter suddenly stabilized facing in an easterly direction, and shortly there after it impacted with the mountainous terrain in a tail low attitude followed by the left skid gear. The helicopter rolled-over to the right and continue to roll down the slope until it came to rest in a haul road. Following the initial rollover the helicopter also rotated through 180s? coming to rest facing in a northwesterly direction. The three occupants managed to disembark from the wreckage un-assist. The two passengers suffered from minor cuts and bruises. The pilot's injuries were, however, more serious as he suffered annular fractures of the T4 and T7 upper back vertebrae's as well as severe chest pain, which was most probably caused by impact with the cyclic control column of the helicopter during the impact sequence, which was found to have fractured where it emerged from the floor. This was an industrial aid flight with the intension to provide product support to a Bell Equipment earthmoving vehicle/truck. Bell Equipment was, however, in possession of a valid AOC No. N614D, at the time of the event, which expired on 30 October 2005. The flight in question was not conducted under the AOC. The last Mandatory Periodic Inspection (MPI) that was certified on the aircraft prior to the accident was on 5 April 2005, at 6580.3 airframe hours. Since the MPI was certified a further 24.6 hours were flown. PROBABLE CAUSE: The pilot applied the incorrect technique following the loss of tail rotor authority (applying power), which aggravated the condition accompanied by a substantial loss in height, rendering ground impact inevitable.



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

Revision history:


Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av., 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314