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Following a signal from the cabin attendant that all was ready for take-off, the pilot applied power and lifted the helicopter Into hover. After a momentary check of power and trim the pilot began to move the aircraft forward along the line of the taxlway towards the runway. At a height of less than 10 feet and with a forward speed of some 5 knots the aircraft engine coughed and lost power. The pilot noticed a drop and fluctuation In engine fuel pressure and the fuel booster pump low pressure warning light Illuminated. He reduced power and landed and as the aircraft touched and rolled forward, ground resonance commenced. The pilot endeavoured to lift the helicopter back Into the air In order to terminate the ground resonance, but this was- unsuccessful owing to the lack of engine power. The severe rocking motion, as ground resonance developed, bounced the aircraft to the left and the pilot then applied the rotor brake. The main rotor blades struck the ground, the undercarriage failed and the helicopter came to rest having rotated more than 180 degrees from Its original heading. The pilot carried out an engine shut down check and he vacated the aircraft through the right hand cockpit window. All the other occupants vacated the aircraft through the main cabin door under the direction of the cabin attendant. Fuel was seen to be pouring from the lower forward section of the fuselage and this Ignited whilst the passengers were still evacuating the cabin, forcing the last persons out to leap through the flames.

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General details
Date: 30 October 1969 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1330 EST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Gladstone Occurrence type:Hard landing 
State: Queensland Occurrence class: Technical 
Release date: 18 August 1970 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Serious 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft 
Aircraft model: S-58 
Aircraft registration: VH-UTF 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Gladstone
Destination:Heron Island
 
 
 
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Last update 13 May 2014