Serious incident RotorWay Exec 162F G-ZHWH,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 349861
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Date:Sunday 10 September 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic EXEC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
RotorWay Exec 162F
Registration: G-ZHWH
MSN: 6596
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:near Bishops Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Bishops Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire
Destination airport:Bishops Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
RotorWay Exec 162F Modified, G-ZHWH lost the ground handling wheel in flight over Hampshire.

The pilot stated that he was on a local flight from a private site where the helicopter was kept. Prior to moving the helicopter out of its hangar, he completed the pre-flight inspection. He then self-manoeuvred it out of the hangar on its ground handling wheels. Each wheel weighs about 12 lb (5.4 kg).

However, once the helicopter was in a position for startup and takeoff, he became distracted by his dogs, which he had to take into his house. Upon returning to the helicopter the pilot forgot to remove the wheels and subsequently took off with them on. He only realised this after landing when he found one wheel attached and one missing. Realising the missing wheel had fallen off in flight, he immediately notified the local ATC unit and police but there had been no notification of any damage or injuries caused by the wheel falling off in flight

=AAIB Conclusion=
The pilot became distracted during his pre-flight preparations. As a result, the helicopter took off with its ground handling wheels attached and one subsequently fell off in flight. While it was not known when or where the wheel fell off, it had the potential to cause damage and/or serious injury.

=Safety action=
As a result of this incident the helicopter’s maintenance organisation in the UK amended the ‘START UP, RUN UP AND TAKE OFF’ checklist by adding ‘VERIFY THAT BOTH GROUND HANDLING WHEELS HAVE BEEN REMOVED BEFORE FLIGHT’. Other helicopters’ POH would be amended when undergoing an annual check. This would also be done on all other variants maintained by the Maintenance organisation".

=Damage to airframe=
According to the above AAIB report "no damage reported" to airframe

G-ZHWH was built in 2001, and has been registered as such "from new" (first registered 19.11.2001) and has had three owners since new. Note that the actual location of the incident was never established, but the registered address of the owner of G-ZHWH is in the Bishops Waltham area, and the helicopter was on a flight in the local area.

Bishop's Waltham (or Bishops Waltham) is a medieval market town situated at the source of the River Hamble in Hampshire, England. It is located at the midpoint of a long-established route between Winchester and Portsmouth.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report


1 AAIB Final Report:



G-ZHWH Rotorway Exec Helicopter (Private Owner) Rotorway Executive 162F G-ZHWH at Gloucestershire Airport (GLO/EGBJ) 17.4.2021

Revision history:

13-Jan-2024 10:04 Dr. John Smith Added
13-Jan-2024 20:16 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Narrative, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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