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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 39416
Last updated: 23 October 2019
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Date:14-MAR-1983
Time:14:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22
Owner/operator:Helicopters Inc
Registration: N9024Z
C/n / msn: 0038
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Training
Departure airport:East St. Louis Downtown Airport, Cahokia, Illinois (KCPS)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
On March 14, 1983, about 14:20 CST (Central Standard Time) N9024Z, a Robinson R22 operated by Helicopters, Inc., crashed into the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, during an instructional flight. The flight had originated at East St. Louis Downtown Airport, Cahokia, Illinois, about 45 minutes before the accident. The helicopter was seen in cruise flight at about 300 feet agl traveling north over the river.

Several people witnessed the accident. One witness, located on the 22nd floor of an office building near the accident site, said the helicopter wobbled as if buffeted by the wind. The helicopter was then observed to roll to the right and begin spinning, followed by a loud noise and the separation of the tail rotor. The witness then observed bluish/white-colored smoke as the helicopter rapidly descended. The witness also reported that he observed the main rotor separate before the helicopter fell into the river. A witness located on the 17th floor of an office building near the accident site said the front of the helicopter pitched nose down and the tail flipped over.

She said she saw a long, thin, shiny object separate from the helicopter. Another witness located on the east side of the river said he observed the helicopter at about 200 to 300 feet when he heard a loud pop and witnessed the main rotor and possibly the transmission and engine separate from the helicopter. Several witnesses located on the west shore of the river heard a loud bang, then saw pieces separating from the helicopter before the helicopter descended out of control into the Mississippi River. A pilot and first mate of a tugboat operating near the vicinity of the crash reported observing an object about the size of a small car that fell into the river several hundred feet from their boat and sank immediately.

They recovered a wallet and two seat cushions, which were later identified as being from the helicopter. The river was searched by local authorities until March 18, 1983, but the helicopter wreckage and the bodies of the victims were never found. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The closest weather reporting station, 4 miles southeast of the accident site, reported 12 miles visibility and winds from 290 degrees at 8 knots.

The pilot held commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates with an endorsement for rotorcraft-helicopter, with a total of 748 hours of flight time, 334 of which were in helicopters and 110 in the Robinson R22 helicopter. According to the owner of N9024Z, the accident flight was the student's second instructional flight; the student did not have a pilot certificate. The Safety Board could not determine the probable cause of this accident.

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: MKC83FA076 at https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001214X42536
2. http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=9024Z
3. http://www.rotorshop.com/sir9603.pdf
4. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=35109
5. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://coptercrazy.brinkster.net/search/r22show.asp?start=1&count=50]


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
07-Feb-2016 21:23 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Feb-2016 21:28 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Sep-2016 20:15 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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