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A ten minute flight in the local area had been completed without incident. After DEPARTURE for a second flight the helicopter was climbed to 150 feet agl to allow the passengers to view the campsite and a herd of animals. The pilot and passengers then heard a loud bang which was followed by a severe airframe vibration. The noise and vibration continued and the pilot elected to carry out an autorotational descent and land in a small clearing. The clearing was overshot and the helicopter struck several trees. Investigation indicates that the engine cooling fan drive belt, which rotates at high rpm, failed. The flailing belt then tore a section of the canvas cooling fan shroud. Vibration was produced when the broken belt and section of shroud were ingested into the cooling fan.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 12 September 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1648  
Location:Mataranka Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 18 February 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-THH 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Mataranka NT
Departure time:1648
Destination:Mataranka NT
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Last update 01 April 2011