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At a height of about 80 feet above ground level with little forward speed, the helicopter suffered a complete power loss. During the subsequent autorotational descent the main rotor struck trees, and the right skid was torn off on impact with the ground. Investigation revealed that two connecting rods had become detached from the crankshaft, and the engine had seized. It was likely that a previous overspeeding of the engine had stretched the big end bolts. This led to a loss of torque on the nuts retaining the bolts, which finally suffered overload failures.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 August 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 835  
Location:Leila Creek (25 km NW Cape Crawford) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 08 June 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-AAU 
Serial number: 6864 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Cape Crawford NT
Departure time:0835
Destination:Leila Creek NT
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