On July 20, 2020, a Robinson R44 helicopter with three people on board crashed at Thorburn Lake near Clarenville, Newfoundland. The fatal R44 crash occurred at around 3:45 p.m. local time. Authorities say a 69-year-old Gambo man was killed and two others, a 68-year-old man from Aquaforte and a 54-year-old man from St. John’s, were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Members of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will investigate the cause of the fatal Robinson helicopter crash at Thorburn Lake. A full report on the crash will likely take between 12 and 18 months to complete.
Robinson R44 in Thorburn Lake Crash is ‘Exceptionally Deadly’
The Robinson R22, R44, and R66 model helicopters share many of the same design characteristics. These helicopters have been involved in more than 1,500 accidents and incidents, of which, nearly 1 in 4 were fatal.
According to lawsuits filed against Robinson over the years, the helicopters are especially susceptible to catastrophic mast bumping, or similar, events due to, among other things, the design of the rotor head and main rotor system.
While mast bumping is not a new phenomenon, the frequency and severity of mast bumps in Robinson helicopters, including the R44, are much higher than its competitors. This known safety issue has resulted in preventable crashes, some of which resulted in deaths.
According to data from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), between 2006 and 2016, Robinson R44s were involved in 42 fatal crashes in the U.S., more than any other type of civilian helicopter. That amounts to 1.6 deadly helicopter accidents per 100,000 hours flown, which is nearly 50% higher than any other type of helicopter whose flight hours are tracked by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Victims of Robinson helicopter crashes have filed more than five dozen wrongful death or product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer, alleging Robinson has either ignored or failed to address known safety issues. Many of these Robinson helicopter lawsuits have resolved in confidential settlements.
Helicopter Crash Lawyers with Experience Litigating Against Robinson
If you or someone in your family were harmed in a Robinson helicopter crash, our firm is here to help you. We have secured justice and compensation on behalf of clients in more than a dozen cases against Robinson. Across all areas of practice, the attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements.
To receive a free case evaluation, give us a call at (855) 948-5098 or contact us today.