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The pilot elected to conduct a practice autorotation. His initial intention was to reapply power and to discontinue the exercise before reaching the ground, but during the descent he changed his mind and decided to continue to the ground. As the pilot flared the helicopter the tail skid contacted the ground and the main rotors struck the tail boom and tail rotor shaft. The pilot chose an unfamiliar sand bar on which to practice the autorotational landing. The associated glare from such a surface and the lack of visual cues for height assessment are considered to have led the pilot to misjudge his height for the flare.

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[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 24 October 1983 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 735  
Location:29 km NNE of Wando Vale Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 28 February 1984 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-BHR 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Wando Vale QLD
Departure time:0735
Destination:29 km NNE of Wando Vale QLD
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Last update 13 May 2014