Victorian Coroner Peter White has recommended CASA immediately issue an airworthiness directive (AD) to ground the kit built Rotorway Exec 162 helicopter, following the death of Andrew Mull who was fatally injured after his Rotorway Exec 162, VH-AMB, crashed in a paddock at Tawonga, northeast Victoria, on March 29 2006.
Handing down his findings in the Coroner’s Court of Victoria on December 22, White recommended that CASA establish design and build standards for the Exec 162, and that all helicopters be test flown to meet these airworthiness standards before the grounding could be lifted, after finding that the accident was caused by the failure of the tail rotor.
Further, White recommended kit construction and maintenance should not be undertaken by any non-LAME or non-CASA qualified persons and that licence issuance, renewal or upgrade to fly the helicopter be given once pilots have received appropriate endorsement level training or in other similar aircraft as approved by CASA.
In his 37 page report White says “I recommend that the responsible federal authorities distinguish the position of kit build helicopters from the legal framework set up to apply to other so called ‘experimental’ aircraft, and that instead of existing arrangements, the need to develop a separate and different legal framework for kit build helicopter enthusiasts, is now recognised.”
Designed by Phoenix, Arizona based RotorWay International, currently 37 examples of the Exec 162 are on the Australian civil register.
The full report can be downloaded in PDF form here.