Robinson helicopter ban grows | IMPAC health and safety

15 May, 2018  |  News

At the end of last year, following several fatal incidents, the Department of Conservation placed a temporary, and then permanent, ban on staff flying in Robinson helicopters.

Now, Fire and Emergency have followed suit.

Several of the Robinson models are on the Transport Accident Investigation Commission watchlist. According to RNZ, Robinson helicopters have featured in 143 crashes in New Zealand since 2000; 21 of which were fatal.

Fire and Emergency have said the ban will remain in place while the machines are on the watchlist.


robinsonGrounded. DOC and FENZ staff will no longer be flying in Robinson helicopters. Photo by


What DOC said

In a media release from February, Department of Conservation Safety Director Harry Maher said, “Having assessed the evidence, we’ve made a decision to err on the side of caution and permanently cease the use of Robinson helicopters to transport DOC employees.

Ensuring employee safety in Robinson helicopters relies heavily on pilots flying within strict operating limits at all times. We aren’t confident that we can rely on this consistently over time across the many varied conditions that DOC employees face when in helicopters.”


History repeats itself

It isn’t the first time DOC has banned machinery – they’re no stranger to eliminating risk by putting a ban in place. In 2015, according to Stuff, they banned quad bikes following a number of reported health and safety incidents the year before.


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