On June 28, 2002, at 1435 universal coordinated time (UTC), a Robinson R-44 helicopter, Ecuadorian registration HC-BXJ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a reported loss of power during initial takeoff climb from an airstrip near Catamara, Province of Los Rios, in the Republic of Ecuador. The airline transport rated helicopter pilot and his 2 passengers were seriously injured. The helicopter was owned and operated by COLAEREOS S.A., of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The on-demand air taxi flight originated from the Simon Bolivar International Airport (GYE), near Guayaquil, Ecuador, at 1400 UTC, with Ricaurte, Province of Los Rios, as its intended final destination.

The helicopter made an intermediate stop at the airstrip near Catamara to pick-up a passenger. Witnesses reported that approximately 15 seconds after takeoff from the airstrip, while still on its initial takeoff climb, a "loud bang" was heard and the helicopter descended into the terrain.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador. Any further information may be obtained from:

Republica del Ecuador
Direccion General de Aviacion Civil (DGAC)
Buenos Aires 149 y 10 de Agosto
P.O. Box 2077
Quito, Ecuador

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by, or obtained from the DGAC of the Republic Ecuador.

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