Accident to the ROTORWAY - EXEC (162 HDF/A600) registered F-WSPM on 05/11/2018 at Saint-Pierre (Saint Pierre and Miquelon)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.

The day of the accident, the pilot, accompanied by a passenger, performed a flight as part of the programme to obtain the helicopter’s Special Airworthiness Certificate for kit-built aircraft.
Several witnesses situated at varying distances to the accident site indicated that there were strong gusts of wind at the time of the accident. The helipad was situated at the foot of a hill with vegetation nearby. The direction of the wind that day in all likelihood generated strong local turbulence.
After entering hover flight into the wind, the pilot flew forward to position himself close to a photographer. He held the helicopter in hover while photos were taken. He started the take-off by carrying out a left turn and forward climb. He then had a tailwind.

It is probable that due to a gust of wind, the plane of the helicopter’s main rotor tilted to the left. This may have created a left-hand roll moment, which was made all the greater by the helicopter’s extreme forward left centre of gravity.
The low height at which the helicopter was flying and its slow forward speed at the time of the roll meant that the pilot could not avoid the collision with the ground.