Cause of UCT chopper crash still unknown

2011-08-03 11:37

Cape Town - Civil Aviation Authority inspectors said on Wednesday they had “no idea” yet what could have been the cause of a helicopter crash at the University of Cape Town’s main campus.

The Robertson 44 helicopter, which had four occupants, went down at about 09:00, Cape Town Fire and Rescue’s Theo Layne told News24.

UCT said in a statement that the helicopter’s pilot made an emergency landing.

"Eyewitnesses said that the helicopter hit the top of some trees on the side of the road and then immediately afterwards attempted to land," UCT said in a statement.

"During the landing the helicopter tumbled onto its side. The pilot and three passengers were shaken but not visibly hurt."
It crashed into a walkway on middle campus, completely destroying the chopper.

Only the pilot suffered minor injuries.

The crash site was cordoned off with officials keeping media and curious onlookers far back. Several ambulances, fire engines and disaster service vehicles were on the scene.

According to a student on the scene, his friend claimed that the helicopter had “just lost power”. `

Layne said the wreckage can only be moved once officials are sure that it is safe following a fuel leak. 

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  • W Wallace - 2011-08-03 11:45

    Dave Mostert...?

      morentebo - 2011-08-03 11:54

      According to a student on the scene, his friend claimed that the helicopter had “just lost power”. was the student in that chopper?

      Jerry - 2011-08-03 13:14

      *sigh just to show that Propeller-heads can't fly

  • Mdavu-zn - 2011-08-03 11:47

    No this is clear. These people wanted to go the but they didn't see an air port in the premises. Sure the driver decided to drop it. :)

  • Niren - 2011-08-03 11:50

    The picture taken of the crashed helicopter on the campus looks more like a model/toy helicopter than the real thing.

  • President - 2011-08-03 11:53

    Civil Aviation Authority inspectors said on Wednesday they had “no idea” yet what could have been the cause of a helicopter crash at the University of Cape Town’s main campus. Why dont they just ask the pilot !!!!

      50something - 2011-08-03 12:46


      Gibbonater - 2011-08-03 12:52

      99% of aircraft crashes is due to pilot error and of course what goes up must come down. Do they question the pilot and check his credentials/experience or go straight to checking the remains of the aircraft?

      Darter - 2011-08-03 12:52

      Perhaps they mean from a TECHNICAL point of view. The pilot wont necessarily know what the EXACT cause is....

  • General.AlanMuller - 2011-08-03 11:54

    Can I have the wrekage please ????

  • Sense - 2011-08-03 11:58

    It is clear! This is an attack on the imperialist, right-wing academic institution! They are imperialist because in classes they listen to `white masters', and they are right-wing because they cultivate knowledge imported from western civilizations.

      Spaffy - 2011-08-03 12:07


      princessbts - 2011-08-03 12:19

      Are you sure you are talking about the right university? UCT was known during Apartheid, and still is known, as 'Kremlin on the Hill' for its liberal ideology...

      Mr.Rhygin - 2011-08-03 12:33

      dude, we are a western was a helicopter that fell, not a "big metal bird from the sky". Did you not get in for honours eh? Bitterbums if you ask me...

      Mr.Rhygin - 2011-08-03 12:42

      and concerning "white masters", and i'm going to be very careful here...without their race they are still masters...and masters must teach. i would much rather be taught by a black master than a white fool..point is it's not the skin colour, the tradition or the social's the knowledge imparted. get over the whole race thing already, it makes you sound desperate and sad.

      Sense - 2011-08-03 12:47

      aah spaffy, seems you are the only one up for fun this morning... relax mr. rhygin, i'm just mucking about. by the way, mr. rhygin, rumor now has it that P-Divy was the flight instructor responsible for coaching the pilot of this chopper. i'm sure it has nothing to do with skin colour ;-)

      Mario Meyer - 2011-08-03 14:21

      Revolutionary greetings to you @Sense, seems the years of colonial oppression on the white settlers, and natives by the western British Monarchy has void the South African populace of Humor....

      JCTF - 2011-08-04 01:14


  • zulufox - 2011-08-03 12:14

    I know what was the cause... It fell from the sky ...

      saabnut - 2011-08-03 12:16

      I bet you the pilot moonlights as a minibus taxi driver...

  • Made_In_SA - 2011-08-03 12:23

    Robbie's probably make up 90% of Sa's helicopter fails, I wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with the fact they not running turbine engines or is because their "fan belts" are prone to snapping thus the fan above stops spinning and generally auto rotation isn't possible as they not a safe height to perform this important health and safety trick?

      mankankela - 2011-08-03 12:35

      Also, perhaps Robbies are most often flown by student and inexperienced pilots?

      JCTF - 2011-08-04 01:15

      Lets see... maybe that's because they make up 90% of South Africa's helicopters. It's really difficult maths this.

      Joe - 2011-08-04 02:38

      Wow, what uninformed comments! The v-belts are NOT prone to snap! Where the hell do you get your info?? If the heli is maintained to specification, those v-belts will never 'snap'! And turbine engines are NOT safer than reciprocating engines just because they are turbine engines!

  • Buic - 2011-08-03 12:30

    Sources say he was smoking crack

      onthefence - 2011-08-03 12:38

      Other sources say he messed his crack

      Gibbonater - 2011-08-03 12:54

      Try to smoke crack once but the chicks ass caught alight. That was a crash of note.

      Jamesons - 2011-08-04 00:34

      Was the pilot really high?

  • Honest_John - 2011-08-03 12:30

    I have it on good authority from the CAA that the Robinson R44 involved in this mornings incident was in fact shot down by Airwolf.

      onthefence - 2011-08-03 12:39

      Airwolf lives in Table don't hear it because it's on whisper mode.

      Honest_John - 2011-08-03 12:45

      @onthefence I think we've just written the start to a great B-grade retro movie. The first scene starts with a bergie ranting about it, but no-one listens

      onthefence - 2011-08-03 13:12

      @Honest_John ....I'm working on scene two but have writers block. Going to buy myslef a "papsak" to get into character - will let you know if I make progress....

  • onthefence - 2011-08-03 12:40

    Only the pilot suffered minor injuries Yes - his ego

      Greybeard - 2011-08-03 12:59

      The underclothing of the passengers however.....

  • JCWR56 - 2011-08-03 12:55

    @Made in Sa - 2 reasons, they make up 90% of Heli fleet along with their 2 seater cousins R22 and also because they are used a lot in training. the pilot was heard to say shortly after landing "smell it? I'm sitting in it"

  • Nikza - 2011-08-03 13:51

    a nice way of starting the day at UCT... with a lil drama!

  • Senzov - 2011-08-03 14:27

    its been a long time you have heard anything about UCT, what a publicity for a day

  • Rod - 2011-08-03 15:44

    The report says "hit the top of some trees" - bet it screwed his tail-rotor, which meant it started to spin and the only thing you can do is put it down as fast as possible. Pilot error - should have stayed away from the trees!!

      Jamesons - 2011-08-04 00:38

      Stay away from the trees? Sh8t, you clever

      JCTF - 2011-08-04 01:18

      Wow Rod well done you obviously have thousands of hours in the cockpit.

      onthefence - 2011-08-04 10:03

      Rod - I had my tail rotor screwed once...I nearly crashed but fortunately there were no trees around....

  • Propjockey - 2011-08-31 21:13

    You guys got it all wrong! It was the new SA copy called the Robertson 44, soon to be inaugurated into the Taxi Cheep Airlines fleet, 'nyanies, read the articls again!

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