Wed, Aug 29, 2007
Helo Impacted While Inverted, Uncorrected Low 'G' Situation
A probable cause report by the New Zealand Civil Aviation
Authority said a pilot's inexperience in operating the Robinson
R-22 helicopter likely led to a fatal accident in 2004.
Pilot Chris Barnes, 50, had purchased his new R-22 (type shown
above) just before the accident that claimed his life and that of
his passenger, Kim Austin, 45, January 10, 2004, according to the
Rotorua Daily Post.
The flight was reportedly the first Barnes had flown in the
accident aircraft. He had just slightly more than 21 hours in type,
according to the CAA report; Barnes was reportedly used to flying
heavier helicopters such as his Hughes 369E.
According to the report, "An uncorrected low 'g' situation is
likely to have initiated the accident sequence. The reason for the
low 'g' situation could not be determined. The pilot had limited
experience on the R22, having done the majority of his flying on
the Hughes 500 series helicopter."
The helo impacted freshly sown soil while inverted. There was
evidence the engine was not running, and there was no rotor
movement at the time of impact.
Meteorological conditions at the time of the accident were not
an issue. "The weather was fine with blue skies and little or no
wind so weather is not considered to be a factor in this accident,"
stated the report.
Barnes was a world champion speedboat racer and racecar
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