Chopper has hard landing in Cape Town

2012-02-17 07:23

Cape Town - A helicopter made an emergency landing at Cape Town International Airport late on Thursday afternoon due to mechanical problems experienced soon after take-off.

The city's disaster management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said initial reports were that the aircraft landed around 17:04.

"It had a hard landing. The pilot in command said the helicopter developed mechanical problems shortly after take-off from its base at the Cape Town International Airport en route to Franschoek," he said.

"There were no fatalities in the incident, and the two pilots and two passengers on board have not sustained any injuries."

According to the pilot, the rear rotor of the helicopter malfunctioned and a decision was made to return to its base.

Solomons-Johannes said the Robinson R44 helicopter landed safely on an open field west of the airport.

"Emergency repairs to the four-seater aircraft were made and a test flight was performed shortly thereafter."

The SA Civil Aviation Authority would be informed so that an investigation could be instituted into the incident.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos

  • Deon - 2012-02-17 07:40

    I cannot understand why they continue to operate the Robinson R44. The R44 has an inherent design problem in the tail rotor mechanism causing about 90% of all helicopter accidents.

      TSR01 - 2012-02-17 08:43

      And 90% of your guesstimates are an inherent design problem because they rely on speculation and unsubstantiated figures. :)

      Derek - 2012-02-17 08:56

      And where did you find this gem of information? or did you just suck it out of your thumb?

      RobertKeeling - 2012-02-17 09:11

      The only reason they are in the news more often is because there are so many of these popular helis in use in this country. At a production rate of roughly 800 machines per year, aggregating R22 and R44 sales, Robinson makes more helicopters than the rest of the manufacturers combined (even the military doesn't operate all that many helicopters; the U.S. Army's Sikorsky Blackhawk fleet, for example, is only about 1200 machines accumulated since 1978. So anything mechanical can fail, but the helicopter would not be this popular if they were so bad that they caused 90% of heli accidents. Think a bit before you make unsubstantiated and guessing comments!

  • Paul - 2012-02-17 07:46

    Good Job to the pilot, he is obviously current when it comes to tail rotor failure emergency procedures.

  • MSGRule - 2012-02-17 07:58

    Surely things are checked and maintained before and after flights. Emergency repairs were done immediately afer. Maybe some repairs prior to flying will take awy the need to do emergency repairs

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-17 08:18

      You will only find faults when operating it and that is mostly in the air. Do you for one-moment think they do not get checked, maintain or try to prevent crashing these air-crafts. It is common knowledge that you normally do not get a 2nd change if it was not done. I h'v once received a good paying job offer, as a test pilot, till I realized it was for a aviation repair shop. I am still unemployed.LOL.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-02-17 08:19

      Not change, but chance.

      RobertKeeling - 2012-02-17 09:14

      All pilotes make pre-flight inspections, but there are problems that can crop up without being detected prior to flight. You're onbviously not a pilot, so read and learn, and do not make silly comments.

  • Stan - 2012-02-17 08:05

    thse people can't fly... too many accidents too often... it's like south african drivers.... can't fly... can't drive...

      Dirk - 2012-02-17 08:36

      Judging by that crap 203 sports kompressor in your pic you think you have it made.

      TSR01 - 2012-02-17 08:48

      Stan, did you read the article? "There were no fatalities in the incident, and the two pilots and two passengers on board have not sustained any injuries." How is that an accident? An emergency landing taking place due to malfunctioning components is no fault of the pilot's, aka, the driver - I don't see how you were able to make the comparison, unless it was a wild over exaggeration to motivate your opinion. That said, pilots can't get away with flying without training - do you have any idea how many road users don't have their driver's license, or even a learner's license, not to mention how many of them lack the training / experience in driving properly? You've grossly misrepresented road safety and air safety - go check the statistical chances of dying in a Car Crash and dying in a Plane Crash. :)

      snylo - 2012-02-17 09:06

      Stan is a chop! I agree with Dirk, The 230 Kompressor is the equivalent of the BMW 1-Series,entry level, and those guys too think they a cut above the rest! I bet if some hectic mechanical problem struck Stan, like a broken steering rod or something, Stan would not be bringing that Merc to a safe stop without an accident! Blind ignorant comment Stan! Well said TSR01, and well done to those pretty competent Helicopter Pilots :)

      RobertKeeling - 2012-02-17 09:16

      What a lot of drivel! Let me tell you that the most dangerous part of flying is the drive to and from an airport. So, if you can't make a reasonable intellignt comment, rather say nothing, thereby not showing others your inablity to make an intelligent comment.

  • Danie - 2012-02-17 14:12

    "Any crash landing you can walk away from is a good crash landing." -Launchpad McQuack.

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