A Robinson R44 Helicopter crashed in a Southwest Miami parking lot killing the two people on board. Per the initial NTSB report, multiple witnesses of the crash site reported hearing an “explosion” as the helicopter flew overhead. Robinson Helicopter Company has a devastating past, including dozens of fatal crashes in just the past two years, and has just recently issued an order to fix the fuel tanks.
Per aviation lawyer Ron Goldman, “The existing tank is dangerously defective because when you have a crash it can puncture the tank which is unprotected by any fuel bladder or casing.”
Robinson helicopters issued a retro-fit order to make the fuel tanks stronger, but owners have until April 30, 2013, to comply. It is not known if the helicopter involved in this crash near Tamiami Airport had its fuel tank retrofitted.
We are deeply disappointed that Robinson Helicopter Company put the burden on its customers to pay for the retrofit of its fuel system, rather than shouldering the expense of fixing its own design errors.
Air Date: 4-3-2013
Incident Date: 4-3-2013