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The pilot brought the helicopter to a hover at 1000 feet agl, pointing approximately into wind. The aircraft began to yaw to the right and the pilot was unable to stop the resulting rotation. The helicopter descended in a steep nose down attitude and struck the ground heavily while still rotating to the right. The landing skids were torn off and the helicopter came to rest on its left side. No mechanical fault or defect was found with the helicopter which might have contributed to the development of the accident. It was considered likely that the aircraft experienced the phenomenon known as "tail rotor breakaway", which results in an uncommanded yaw to the right accompanied by a steep nosedown pitch change. The pilot was aware of the phenomenon, and had read various articles on the subject. However, much of the information available at the time was of a confusing and conflicting nature, and the recovery action employed by the pilot on this occasion was ineffective.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 05 August 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 951 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:9 km North East of Sydney Airport Occurrence type:Loss of control 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 03 September 1986 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Serious 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-FHB 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Channel 10 Helipad,
Departure time:0951
Destination:Channel 10 Helipad, Sydney NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 13 May 2014