On November 22, 2022 near the City of Charlotte, North Carolina a helicopter operated by WBTV news crashed killing everyone onboard. Both the pilot and passenger were reported deceased. The R44 crashed into a wooded area alongside Interstate 77.
The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB released its preliminary report just before Thanksgiving. According to the NTSB report, the aircraft performed three 360-degree turns. During the third turn, the aircraft went into a rapid descent and crashed. No distress call was made by the pilot. Currently, it is unclear what caused the aircraft to crash, although the NTSB is still investigating.
The Robinson R44 is by far the most popular civilian helicopter model. Its popularity is mostly due to the lower cost of the aircraft and maintenance when compared with aircraft from Robinson’s competitors. According to reports, since 2008 Robinson has had over 568 crashes involving their model R44. 206 of the 548 crashes have been fatal.
According to an investigation by the L.A. Times from 2006 to 2016, the R44 had a 50% higher fatality rate per 100,000 flight hours when compared to other similar aircraft. The popular Robinson R44 helicopter is manufactured by the Robinson Helicopter Company out of Torrance, California. The R44 helicopter was originally approved for use in 1992. The R44 has been a very popular trainer and sightseeing helicopter for many years.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or the loss of a family member due to the negligence of an aviation product manufacturer, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz, & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.