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The aircraft was engaged in pig shooting operations, and was making the second sortie for the day. While cruising at about 150 feet above ground level, the pilot heard a loud bang, and all engine power was lost. At the time the aircraft was over flat country with scattered trees. While manoeuvring the helicopter to a cleared area, the pilot carried out a descending turn, during which the tail rotor struck the branches of a tree. The tail rotor blades disintegrated and the helicopter struck the ground heavily. Initial inspection revealed the presence of several cracks in the engine crankcase. The connecting rod in one of the engine cylinders had broken just above the big end bearing. The fracture was typical of fatigue propagation, followed by overload, but the extent of the damage precluded the location of the origin of the fatigue. The cracks in the crankcase had been caused by the flaying of the connecting rod after the failure. The pilot had not seen the branches struck by the tail rotor, probably because they were protruding from the tree and had no foliage attached.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 15 October 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 930  
Location:10 km SW Collyfarms Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 04 May 1987  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hiller Aviation 
Aircraft model: UH-12 
Aircraft registration: VH-FFV 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Collyfarms NSW
Departure time:0930
Destination:Collyfarms NSW
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