Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson R22A, VH-UXM, 4 km SE Bunda Station NT (170 km SSE Kununurra WA), 16 July 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had planned to operate for 120 minutes before refuelling, and the aircraft had an endurance of 150 minutes. As the aircraft was approaching the refuelling area after a total flight time of 121 minutes, the engine failed. The pilot carried out an autorotative landing, but on touchdown one landing skid became entangled in a large tuft of grass. Believing that the aircraft would roll over, the pilot applied rearward cyclic control. The main rotor severed the tail boom, but the aircraft remained in an upright attitude. Inspection revealed that the engine failed due to fuel exhaustion. Both the fuel gauge and the low fuel warning system were faulty, although the pilot was unaware of this fact. No reason for the apparently higher than normal fuel consumption during the flight could be found.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 16 July 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1100    
Location   (show map): 4 km SE Bunda Station(170 km SSE Kununurra WA)    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Powerplant/propulsion - Other  
Release date: 12 May 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-UXM  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bunda NT  
Departure time 1100  
Destination Bunda NT  
Last update 17 March 2016