Since January 1, 2000, there have been 165 people killed in 96 crashes involving Robinson helicopters in the United States, according to National Transportation Safety Board records. Since 1982, there have been 512 deaths in 291 Robinson crashes worldwide. Robinson R44 helicopters, manufactured prior to December 2010, and all R22 helicopters, have fuel tanks that are susceptible to rupture. The helicopter’s fuel system design is the culprit, causing numerous deaths due to post-crash fires in crashes that would have otherwise been survivable.Wot @BareGrills said!
I've never even sat in a Robinson, let alone flown one, but this is ARRSE so I feel compelled to give you my opinion anyway!
They were designed to be affordable, and some of the things done to achieve that mean that they need to be treated a bit more carefully than beefier helicopters. If the engine conks-out you've got much less time to react before the aircraft goes into 'brick' mode. If you fly too fast in gusty conditions you can end-up chopping your own tail off (which rarely ends well). And - in what may have happened in this instance - catching a single skid on the ground while moving, is particularly unforgiving.
The phrase I've heard is "If you can fly a Robinson, you can fly anything", which doesn't fill me with confidence TBH...
What has been Robinson’s answer to these post-crash fires? The helicopter manufacturer has been aware of its susceptibility for years, yet its response was to publish Safety Notice 40, in July 2006, which essentially tells pilots to require all occupants to wear fire proof suits, gloves, and helmets.
Finally, in February 2012, after numerous post-crash fires, Robinson issued Service Bulletin SB78, making the installation of the more crashworthy fuel tanks mandatory by December 31, 2013.
Robinson has not, however, initiated a recall of the old-style fuel tanks or asked the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Directive to require replacement of the problematic fuel tanks, there are still thousands of Robinson helicopters with the unsafe, “bladderless” fuel tanks.
Several other reasons - Half of light helicopter accidents due to flying VFR in IMC!! 1 in 3 due to loss of control in VMC. 1/4 of fatal accidents the pilot was under the affluence of incohol.