Robinson Piston Engine Accident Data Australia

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Silver Wings
Silver Wings
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2011

Robinson Piston Engine Accident Data Australia

Postby Rebuilder » Fri May 12 2017, 10:15

When i used to work in the industry, people used to ask me often about what was the most dangerous thing about helicopters, and i simply could not answer.
Over the last 2 weeks, while incredibly bored, i compiled a database from the ATSB of Robinson R22 and R44 accident data from the last 20 years and assigned a root cause in my opinion of the accident.
The constituent data includes only those defined as an accident by the ATSB where the machine was damaged in some way.
I am not the owner of the constituent data, and i have value added to this data so i should caution those on making any media comment on these findings against doing so.
The data shows the count of aircraft involved in accidents over the 20 years for a particular cause of accident, at the level of where a human went wrong or where a machine simply failed prematurely and why.

If you find an obvious error let me know as i would like to look into it. Some of the findings were simply an informed opinion of an accident report and news and media articles.

All robbies


Silver Wings
Silver Wings
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2011

Re: Robinson Piston Engine Accident Data Australia

Postby Rebuilder » Fri May 12 2017, 10:55

i guess i should do the responsible thing and give definition of all scenarios

Wirestrike helicopter unknowingly flew into wires either the tail or the main rotor or cabin
Over Pitched pilot inadvertently pulled more collective than the engine could handle
Tail Rotor Strike tail rotor hits anything causing damage to helicopter or person
Engine Failure other engine failures which can not be defined as ignition related, artifical airflow interference or carburettor icing
LTE Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness from wind or drift or main rotor tip vortices or windvaning
Pilot Error other incorrect pilot control inputs
Tree Strike main or tail rotor hit a tree
Emergency Training practice autorotations or jammed controlls where the instructore could not regain control after student inputs
Birdstrike bird hit cabin tailrotor or main rotor
Drive Belt Failure drive belt slipped or snapped or stretched
Jammed Controls control unable to be manipulated due to forein objects or loose fasteners
Wind Gust unnexpected gust of strong wind affecting controllability at low level slow speed
Flight Crew Management flight crew and cockpit organisational planning
Groundstrike main or tail rotor blades or skids hit ground during low level or close to terrain flight
Loss of Controll any other control related incident
Carburettor Icing proven or highly likely carby icing based on weather and control analysis
Fuel Contamination water, rust or oil containation in tank
Day VFR into Night VFR unsuitable aircraft and/or unqualified pilot flying day VFR at Night
Turn Downwind too slow Loss of lift and resulting overpitch or tailboomstrike by mainrotor during flare
Engine Maintenance engine maintenance personel error
Pre Flight Checklist pilot not using a checklist or following a procedure
Midair Collision collision with other aircraft while in the air
Ignition Failure failure of the magneto or distributor or spark plugs
VFR into IMC VFR flight into day or night IMC conditions resulting in loss of visibility
Performance no or missguided performance planning of the flight
Maintenance Error airframe and transmission maintenance error
Gearbox Malfunction main or tailrotor transmission system premature failure
Fuel Starvation fuel level at 0 causing engine to starve
Animal Strike cattle or land animal interference with helicopters movement
Los of Window Visibility cabin windows opaque due to unforseen events
Engine Trouble engine not failed but lacking sufficient power or indicating problems
Tail Boom Strike main rotor hitting tail for other reasons that low g aft cyclic situation
Hard Landing hard landing as result of fast touchdown
Tail Rotor Drive Failure drive transfer or pitch uncontrolable of tail rotor
Unlicensed Pilot pilot conduction operations which not qualified for
Landing Incident landing on unfamiliar terrain or sloping ground
Engine Interference external artificial factors affecting engine, other than ice
Pre Takeoff Checks pilot not conducting pretakeoff checks, not to be confused with pre flight checks
incapacitated pilot pilot deceased or passed out or physically disabled
operator policy operating companies ops manual incorrectly approved
electrical failure battery and alternator system not functioning as designed
Vortex Ring State pilot settling machine into its own downwash
low G pushover low or negative g situation where main rotor is no longer loaded
Wire Avoidance manoeuvring rapidly to avoid wires but into ground.
2nd Dan
2nd Dan
Posts: 350
Joined: Jul 2012

Re: Robinson Piston Engine Accident Data Australia

Postby arrrj » Fri May 12 2017, 23:03

Thanks rebuilder. If you take out the very few mechanical failures, it looks like most accident are caused pilot error or some sort. The (us) highly trained monkeys are almost always the cause.

Be careful guys (and increasingly , girls).

Silver Wings
Silver Wings
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2011

Re: Robinson Piston Engine Accident Data Australia

Postby Rebuilder » Fri May 12 2017, 23:52

yeh everything is human error at the brunt of it, but after reading every single report 3 times ad mentally and methodically trying to work out what hapened to cause the error, i found that most of the time the error is still just totally unavoidable and would happen to 99% of people. some of the errors however, are tragically easily avoidable, like closing doors with your right hand, or deciding to takeoff when you know your drive belt has broken. i decided that that incident was still related to the machine and assigned it drive belt failure, however one should argue that this is still massive pilot error.
After reading all the accident details, and descriptions of people involved and the recounts, i would take my training attitude completely differently if i could start again.
As a student, when you go into this industry training in machines that require 150% of your attention even before taking off, we should be made aware of each and every occurrence and how it could have been avoided. For this reason, i feel the next time im involved in an operation, i will say to the pilot, with all due respect, do you mind if i do the pre-flight as well?

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