Robinson R44 Clipper II, G-SHAN
The helicopter had taken off from a private site on a farm and five minutes later, while making a normal approach to a field in another part of the property, the pilot heard a small noise when the aircraft was about 100 feet above ground level (agl). After landing it became apparent that one of a pair of wires, which traversed the field and the valley in which it lay, had been severed by coming into contact with the helicopter’s main rotor mast fairing. The damage to the aircraft was limited to the mast fairing. This experienced pilot concluded that the accident was caused by his inability to see the wires, which spanned approximately 900 feet across the valley. He described the wires as green in colour and set against a green background of trees and grass. The telegraph poles that supported the wires at each side of the field were obscured by trees and shrubs and the wire that was broken was described as being of corroded copper. The weather at the time of the accident was good, with less than five knots of wind, visibility in excess of 10 km and no significant cloud. The approach to land had been made into the evening sun and the contrast between the bright sky and darker ground vegetation probably contributed to masking the presence of the wires. It is not known why one wire was struck and not the other but it may have been that one sagged further than the other as they hung across the valley.
G-SHAN 10-05.pdf (160.60 kb)
Date of occurrence: 10 June 2005