Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aerospatiale SA341G, VH-PWS, Mt Perisher NSW, 13 December 1985

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was being used to transport empty fuel drums from a dump at an elevation of about 6500 feet on the summit of the mountain to the valley floor. One load of 5 drums had been successfully lifted about 10 minutes previously, and the pilot returned to sling load a further 4 drums. He subsequently reported that as he began to lift the drums he detected a change in the engine note. The load was immediately jettisoned, but the engine continued to wind down and the pilot was committed to a landing in a confined clearing. Full collective was applied to arrest the forward speed and the aircraft landed heavily. After the helicopter had come to rest the pilot extinguished a small fire which had broken out at the rear of the engine compartment. At the time of the accident, the helicopter was being operated well within its performance capabilities. When the heavy touchdown occurred, the exhaust pipe was severely distorted, restricting the flow of exhaust gasses. As a result, the turbine assembly experienced an extreme over-temperature condition and the blades and guide vanes were melted before the engine was shut down. This damage precluded the investigation of any possible malfunction of the assembly during the hover immediately before the engine apparently lost power. No other defect or malfunction was discovered and the reason for the reported loss of power remains undetermined.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 December 1985   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: N/A    
Location: Mt Perisher    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 15 April 1986   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Aerospatiale Industries  
Aircraft model SA341  
Aircraft registration VH-PWS  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Mt Perisher NSW  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Perisher Valley NSW  
Last update 16 November 2015