March 31, 2022

Deadly Helicopter Crash and Flight Instructor Issues

Episode 111

A recent helicopter crash in Texas took the lives of a student pilot and a flight instructor. Helicopter fleets are growing – are there enough highly qualified flight instructors to keep pace with the demand?

Greg, John and Todd look at the initial information about this tragedy. They explore known safety issues with Robinson 44 helicopters. The tail boom appears to have been cut by the main rotor blade, a topic of a Robinson safety bulletin.

Citing data that reflects a surge in helicopter manufacturing, they wonder if there are enough flight instructors to train pilots to safely fly these aircraft.

This episode also examines a Piper PA22 Tri-Pacer crash in Arizona for the “WTF Files.” Three strikes were against the pilot and passenger before they ever took off: an expired registration, no insurance, and an unreported chronic medical condition. On top of that, they did not use the safety shoulder harnesses in flight.

Hear the details that led to the crash about 10 minutes after takeoff. The official cause is fuel exhaustion leading to engine loss, but there is much more to learn.

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