Safe Skies For All?

07th July 2013
It’s the most amazing way to see Australia and the most deadly. A killer helicopter
and the Aussie families it shattered. So why did the company and the safety
authority do nothing?

Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producer: Gareth Harvey

The Robinson R44 is one of the most popular helicopters in Australia. It's commonly used by small business, tourism operators and in regional Australia.

For nearly 20 years it's been allowed to fly, despite mounting proof it's a death trap.

It has a faulty fuel tank that can explode on impact - turning minor and survivable accidents into deadly infernos.

In a special two year investigation, 60 Minutes has uncovered dozens of crashes blamed for the deaths of 78 people in the past 10 years alone.

And despite evidence they knew all along, the manufacturer Robinson and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority did nothing.

Worse still, they're now facing the same deadly problem with the smaller R22.

Story contact

Special thanks to Alan Kerr, Principal engineer at Aero Design Service, for setting up and conducting the drop test according to FAA requirements on Fuel System Crash Resistance.

Thanks 60 Minutes Click here to go to 60 Minutes Australia

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