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Helicopter Hits Car Haha Wow

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Looks like the pilot turned downwind, probaly at gross wt., right when the ol' translational dip happens, and snags a skid in the p/u. Armchair report based on machine yaw on TO and the smoke direction on landing. Bad start to someone's day.......

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(how can a video/story like this generate the headline "haha" ??)


South Africa March 28 2007.........


news article at the time.......


Johannesburg - An Eskom employee died on Wednesday after a helicopter, from which photographs would have been taken for the power company, crashed onto two vehicles on the East Rand.


The helicopter, a Squirrel belonging to Henley Air, which is stationed at Rand Airport, was rented with the purpose of taking a series of photographs for Eskom.


The helicopter experienced problems at about 11:30, shortly after taking off from Eskom's Simmerpan complex in Germiston.


According to Johan van den Heever, spokesperson for Ekurhuleni emergency services, the helicopter battled to gain power and the pilot was looking for an open space where he could do an emergency landing. "The helicopter's main rotor hit a building and crashed onto a City Golf and a Toyota bakkie."

The driver of the City Golf died on the scene.


According to Van den Heever the co-pilot was admitted to Union Hospital in Alberton in serious condition, while the pilot and the driver of the Toyota bakkie escaped with minor injuries.


An eyewitness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the helicopter's landing gear got entangled with the bakkie's cabin after the rotor had hit the building. The helicopter tilted forward and crashed onto the vehicles.

Van den Heever said the helicopter didn't burst into flames, but the emergency services suppressed the petrol fumes on the ground in order to prevent the fuel from catching fire.


Eskom's spokesperson, Sipho Neke, said in a short media release that Eskom was in contact with the deceased's family. He worked in the company's IT department. Neither the spokesperson, nor the police wanted to reveal any information about the deceased. Police spokesperson captain Steady Nawa said the police were investigating a charge of manslaughter. The Civil Aviation Association was also investigating the accident. André Coetzee, a spokesperson for Henley Air, didn't want to comment.

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  • 3 weeks later...



Reference: CA18/2/3/8278

Aircraft Registration ZS-RSW Date of Accident 28 March 2007 Time of Accident 0900Z

Type of Aircraft Aerospatiale AS 350 B (Helicopter) Type of Operation Domestic Flight

Pilot-in-command Licence Type Airline Transport (H) Age 40 Licence Valid Yes

Pilot-in-command Flying Experience Total Flying Hours 5070 Hours on Type 280

Last point of departure Simmerpan Eskom Yard, Germiston

Next point of intended landing Grand Central Aerodrome, FAGC.

Location of the accident site with reference to easily defined geographical points (GPS readings if possible)

Simmerpan Eskom Yard, Germiston; (GPS Position: S 26 13.544’ E028 09.487’)

Meteorological Information

Temperature 18˚C; Wind 010˚/5kts; Visibility 8km; Cloud FEW at 1000ft and OVC at 2000ft.

Number of people on board 1 + 3 No. of people injured 1 No. of people killed 1




The pilot was tasked by the operator to uplift three (3) technicians at the Simmerpan Eskom Yard, Germiston, in order for them to carry out field work on electrical conductors for Eskom. The helicopter landed on an open grass area near some high rise buildings, in order to uplift the technicians. After the three occupants embarked, the helicopter was established into an In Ground Effect (IGE) hover flight and the pilot backtracked several metres in order to attain some additional space to accelerate into forward flight.


According to available video footage, the helicopter started to ascent into an Out of Ground Effect (OGE) hover at a height of approximately 22-25 ft above ground level (AGL) and the pilot performed an OGE power check and obtained 99% N1 engine indication and 100% torque indication on the main rotor gearbox. The helicopter then proceeded into forward flight at a speed of between 10-15kt when the low rotor rpm aural warning sounded. In an attempt to regain rotor rpm, the pilot reduced the collective pitch lever and descended towards the road intersection ahead. He regained the rotor rpm momentarily, but as he increased power in order to accelerate and to climb away, the low rotor aural warning sounded again.


The pilot attempted to avoid colliding with a light delivery vehicle at the intersection, but the right-hand skid impacted the windscreen of a vehicle, causing the helicopter to pitch nose down and roll over onto its left-hand side. The main rotor blades impacted with a second vehicle that was behind the first vehicle. The driver in the second vehicle was fatally injured. One of the passengers in the helicopter sustained minor injuries. The occupant of the first vehicle escaped unharmed.


Probable Cause


The helicopter exceeded the maximum permissible take-off weight during take-off, which had a direct effect on the power demand and power availability.


Contributory Factor: The area from where the pilot attempted to take off, consisted of high rise buildings in a confined area which most probably caused uneven wind patterns and conditions over the buildings, causing a decay in the main rotor RPM. There was also no proper windsock to indicate the wind direction and wind speeds and no safe escape route in case of an emergency.


link to PDF file of complete report here

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