AAIA publishes investigation report on accident of Robinson R44 II helicopter

     The Air Accident Investigation Authority (AAIA) today (March 4) published the investigation report (01-2024) on the investigation into an in-flight breakup accident involving a Robinson R44 II helicopter (registration mark B-KTK) of the Hong Kong Aviation Club over Lam Kam Road in Tai Po on May 19, 2019.

     On the day of the accident, the pilot of the helicopter was returning to Shek Kong Airfield from the Tai Po area. At about 5.25pm, the helicopter sustained an in-flight breakup at around 2 000 feet above mean sea level overhead Lam Kam Road near Kadoorie Gap. The fuselage of the helicopter was partially destroyed by fire after impacting the terrain on a private farm and a botanic garden to the west of Tai Mo Shan Country Park. The pilot was fatally injured in the accident. 

     The investigation identified that the probable cause of the accident was due to mast bumping, which caused the main rotor blades to come in contact with the fuselage and the cockpit area, resulting in a catastrophic in-flight breakup of the helicopter. The investigation team has made one safety recommendation to the Hong Kong Aviation Club on continuous promotion of safety awareness to mitigate the risk of mast bumping.

     The investigation was conducted by a team of professional investigators in adherence to international standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). "The objective of the investigation was to identify the circumstances and causes of the accident with a view to preventing a recurrence," an AAIA spokesperson said.

     Throughout the investigation, all parties concerned were properly consulted on the report. The report is available for downloading on the AAIA webpage (www.tlb.gov.hk/aaia/eng/investigation_reports/index.html). 

     The AAIA, an independent investigation authority formed under the Transport and Logistics Bureau, is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and incidents in accordance with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations (Cap. 448B) and with reference to the ICAO standards. 

Ends/Monday, March 4, 2024
Issued at HKT 15:08