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While flying at a slow forward speed approximately 15 feet above the trees, the helicopter suddenly yawed to the right. As the pilot was unable to correct the yaw he attempted to manoeuvre the helicopter to a clear area. The helicopter impacted the ground in a level attitude, heading rearward and rotating. Investigation revealed that all the teeth were missing from the forward short shaft rear coupling, which had failed due to lack of lubrication, and resulted in a loss of tail rotor propulsion. The coupling, which was covered by a rubber dust boot, had not received adequate daily inspections to ensure that it contained sufficient grease and was free of excessive play.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 27 May 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1020  
Location:42 km NNW of Strathmore Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 20 August 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-AEO 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:148 km East of Normanton QLD
Departure time:1020
Destination:148 km East of Normanton QLD
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