Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hiller UH-12E, VH-FFX, 11 km NW of Pretty Plains Homestead QLD, 11 May 1984

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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While returning to refuel at a mustering yard, the pilot attempted to move a bull from some trees. When this proved unsuccessful the pilot climbed to continue the flight to the yard. The engine began to run roughly and an approach to a clearing was made. Rotor rpm decayed as some trees were cleared and the pilot was unable to prevent a heavy landing. The helicopter bounced about two metres, the right skid collapsed and the main rotor struck the ground. Investigation revealed that the engine failed due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot's technique was to work on a set endurance from full tanks and not rely on the fuel gauge. At the previous refuelling he filled the tank to the filler neck, but the helicopter was parked on a slope which prevented approximately 20 percent of the tank's volume from being used, and reduced the endurance.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 11 May 1984   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 845    
Location: 11 km NW of Pretty Plains Homestead    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 18 July 1985   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Hiller Aviation  
Aircraft model UH-12  
Aircraft registration VH-FFX  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Pretty Plains Homestead 78 km North of Hughenden QLD  
Departure time 845  
Destination 9 km NW of Pretty Plains Homestead QLD  
Last update 01 April 2011