PKBWL report – Accident, Robinson R44 Raven II (SP-SVW), Vistula river near Sady, 13/08/2020

On 13 August, 2020, a familiarisation flight with the candidate for flight training on Robinson R44 II helicopter was planned. The helicopter took off at 11:15 hrs UTC from the Warsaw-Modlin aerodrome (EPMO) to the flight zone flight zone, located between the India and Hotel waypoints on the northern side of EPMO aerodrome. In the abovementioned area, the pilot performed a low height flight with a demonstration of off-field landing. Then the pilot performed a circuit flight to the EPMO FATO descending to the hover height without touchdown. After re-establishing communication with the EPMO TWR, the pilot was cleared to continue the flight south of the aerodrome aerodrome in the Uniform waypoint zone, over the mouth of the Narew river, where it meets the Vistula river. The pilot performed a westward flight, after flying over the Vistula river bridge, he began a descent. According to the pilot, when he tried to stop descending, (at a height of 500 ft AGL), the collective was blocked, and then the helicopter collided with the water surface of the Vistula river. Persons on board were seriously injured and the helicopter was destroyed. The pilot and the candidate were picked up from the water and taken ashore by the Police river patrol. Emergency services took the injured to hospitals for medical treatment.

Cause of the occurrence: Incorrect estimation of the flight height during descend above the river’s surface.

Contributing factor: Performing flight below permissible height.

PKBWL has not proposed safety recommendations after the investigation.

Read the report.

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