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The helicopter was being used as an platform for test equipment. Part of the test equipment included an aerial that was mounted vertically below the helicopter. This aerial could be retracted and stowed in a horizontal position for landing by operating a control which was positioned in front of the technician. On this occasion the pilot inadvertently attempted to land the helicopter with the aerial extended. Just prior to touch down the helicopter began to vibrate, the pilot lowered the collective and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. Following the completion of each test it was normal for the technician to raise the aerial prior to landing. On this occasion, the technician became engrossed with the transmission of test data and forgot to retract the aerial. The pilot was concentrating on the landing and neglected to ensure that the aerial had been retracted. Normally if a landing is attempted with the aerial extended a weak link in the system fails and the aerial is retracted by a spring. However, it is believed that because the helicopter touched down with little forward speed the weak link did not fail at the required time in the landing sequence.

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[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 11 February 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1415  
Location:Cheviot Hills, 139 km NNW of Hughenden Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 22 May 1986 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hughes Helicopters 
Aircraft model: 269 
Aircraft registration: VH-WAA 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Cheviot Hills QLD
Departure time:1415
Destination:Cheviot Hills QLD
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