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Prior to commencing operations in the area the pilot carried out an aerial reconnaissance to check the location of powerlines. He stated that he had almost completed the second load when he had the feeling that he was running out of chemical. He believes that he momentarily looked at his instruments to check for pressure and load remaining and temporily forgot about the presence of the powerlines. He subsequently saw the powerlines as the aircraft was approaching the end of the run, just before they were struck by the canopy of the helicopter. Control was maintained with difficulty, and when the pilot noticed that the aircraft was trailing wires he decided to land. The landing in a cleared paddock was heavy, causing the skids to collapse, and the main rotor to flex downwards, striking the tailboom and severing the tail rotor. The pilot stated that the powerlines were difficult to see because of wire sag and the backdrop of trees and buildings. This accident was not the subject of an on-site investigation.

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General details
Date: 17 December 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 905  
Location:Hartwell, 6km NE of Ayr Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 07 January 1988 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hiller Aviation 
Aircraft model: UH-12 
Aircraft registration: VH-FXX 
Serial number: 2186 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Hartwell QLD
Departure time:N/K
Destination:Hartwell QLD
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