Fatal Flaw: Robinson R-44 Helicopter


Slack & Davis attorney Ladd Sanger is featured prominently in this 60 Minutes (Australia) story about Robinson R-44 and R-22 helicopters – and their “faulty fuel tank that can explode on impact – turning minor and survivable accidents into deadly infernos.”

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Fatal Flaw (click title to view video)
Air date: July 7, 2013

Reporter: Allison Langdon
Producer: Gareth Harvey
for 60 Minutes (Australia)

The Robinson R-44 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 R-22.