Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hiller UH-12E, VH-FFT, Bulleringa Station (70 km NNE Georgetown) QLD, 2 October 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was cruising at an altitude of about 300 feet above ground level when the pilot heard a loud bang, then felt a severe vibration. The engine continued to operate for about two to three seconds before stopping. Because of the unsuitable terrain over which the aircraft was flying, the pilot was forced to land into trees and the aircraft rolled on its side. An inspection of the engine found that the number 3 connecting rod had failed. The failure was initiated by galling between the big end bearing and the connecting rod, inducing a fatigue failure of the connecting rod. Specialist opinion indicates that the engine was improperly rebuilt following a bulk strip some 200 hours earlier, in that excessive clearance was permitted between the crankshaft and big end bearing.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 02 October 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1050    
Location: Bulleringa Station (70 km NNE Georgetown)    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 11 April 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Hiller Aviation  
Aircraft model UH-12  
Aircraft registration VH-FFT  
Serial number 5116  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Red R Camp (65 km N Georgetown) QLD  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Red R Camp (65 km N Georgetown) QLD