How has the R66 faired with Accidents in it's first five years?
It seems hard to believe that five years have already passed since the introduction of the R66 August of 2010, but it has.
Though there have been a number of foreign accidents, domestically, the R66 has done very well. There have only been two accidents of any significance to date, and both of those involved pilots with low time. What is low time? I consider low time any pilot with less than 2,000 hours in category. Both Robinson R66 accidents involved pilots with such flight times.
The first accident was reminiscent of earlier Robinson accidents which brought significant attention to the Mast Bumping charactoristics of a two blade rotor system. This accident was a Mast Bump event, but the cause was not determined. Not surprising as this is often the case with Mast Bump events. What we do know about Mast Bumps is that they are nearly always fatal, and they are onset by the pilot.
The second accident is not any more surprising as it is one of the most common in all of general aviation, an IIMC event (Inadvertant IMC). The bad part with this one is that it killed five people. Any time this many innocent people are killed, it gets negative attention that we don't need. This pilot had just over 1,300 hours total experience, and as is common with IIMC accidents, the flight originated with minimal weather. I don't know what makes any pilot think that they are so qualified that they can fly with weather that is so poor.
The moral of this short story is that the Robinson R66 is doing well on the accident front, but not to my surprise, the inexperience and over-confidence of some pilots continues to give bad names to others who are truely innocent of wrong doing. END.