CASA published a report today that shows there has been no upward trend in incidents and accidents involving Robinson helicopters.
The report, commissioned by Executive Manager Guidance, Transformation and Safety Systems Andrew Sparrow, analysed incidents and accidents involving R22s and R44s for the period January 2017 to December 2022.
Data extracted from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) database showed there were 167 occurrences for R22 helicopters over the six-year period 2017-2022, an average of seven per quarter. The Robinson R44 helicopter had 245 occurrences at an average of 10 per quarter.
No evidence of an increasing trend was identified for either model.
"The Robinson R22 helicopter is the most common rotary-wing type on the Australian VH aircraft register, accounting for 26% of all rotary-wing registrations," CASA stated today. "The Robinson R44 follows closely behind at 24%.
"As of December 2022, there were 684 registered Robinson R22s in Australia and 621 registered Robinson R44s ...
"Drawing on data from the Australian civil aircraft register, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research (BITRE), the report found the occurrence rate was proportionate to the large numbers of these helicopters operating in Australia."
Incidents and accidents involving Robinsons included collisions with terrain, engine failures, precautionary landings, runway incursions and birdstrikes.
"While the majority (60%) of Robinson R22 accidents or incidents occurred during either aerial work or instructional flying activity, the causes of these events varied. The same was true of Robinson R44 events," CASA says.
"Across the six-year period, no obvious trends were identified in the kind of incidents and accidents that were reported.
"There was also no evidence of an increasing incident or accident rate involving these types of helicopters."
Sixty per cent of R22 occurrences happened during either aerial work or flight training. For R44s, 26% occurred during the commercial air transport and 18% during aerial work.
Collision with terrain was the primary occurrence type for both the R22 (56) and R44 (40) helicopters, followed by loss of control (32) for the R22 model. The second most common occurrence type for the R44 was a forced or precautionary landing.
All other categories were relatively consistent for both aircraft.
The full report is on the CASA website.