Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 47G-2, VH-RFY, 3km SSE of Maroochydore QLD, 25 January 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was being flown along a beach at 500 feet above ground level when the engine lost power without warning. The pilot turned the aircraft into wind and carried out an autorotation. The subsequent landing was heavy, in soft, uneven sand. Both occupants evacuated the helicopter while the rotor blades were still turning. The pilot stated that as he was about to return to the helicopter and turn off the fuel and switches the right skid broke through the sand and the helicopter lurched to the right rear causing the main rotor blade to sever the tail boom. The cause of the reported engine failure could not be determined. During subsequent testing, the engine functioned normally and no defects were found with the aircraft that may have contributed to the occurrence. This accident was not the subject of an on-site investigation.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 25 January 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1753    
Location: 3km SSE of Maroochydore    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 14 May 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-RFY  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Surfair Hotel, Maroochydore QLD  
Departure time 1753  
Destination Surfair Hotel, Maroochydore QLD