Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson R22-Beta, VH-HFN, 20 km NE Tipperary Station NT, 17 August 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]

The culler had just made a kill and the pilot prepared to land so that the beast could be bled. He selected an area of short grass and set the helicopter down with the engine over the barest area. Prior to landing the pilot briefed the culler on the need to deplane quickly to minimise the risk of a ground fire from grass ignited by the hot exhaust. The pilot intended to take-off as soon as possible and return for his passenger when the ground task was finished. Soon after the passenger had deplaned, the pilot was attempting to build up the rotor RPM when he became aware of smoke and flames. He reported that the engine was not responding to throttle input, and when he pulled the collective for liftoff, the engine lost all power and the helicopter settled onto the ground from a few feet. The aircraft was enveloped in flames as the pilot left the cockpit, and it was destroyed by fire. A fenceline cleared of grass existed some 70 metres away, but the pilot was intent of remaining clear of dust areas to prevent wear in the tail rotor assembly. He judged that there was a minimum risk of fire in the area selected for landing, and it was clear of the obstruction posed by the fence. There were no reported aircraft defects or fuel leaks.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 17 August 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1500    
Location: 20 km NE Tipperary Station    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Fire  
Release date: 27 October 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-HFN  
Serial number 634  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Tipperary Station NT  
Departure time 1440  
Destination Tipperary Station NT