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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 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 18 July 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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
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Last update 01 April 2011