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The pilot was engaged in a stream sampling operation. He reported that he was flying at an airspeed of about 20 knots at about 100 feet above the ground when sudden sink was encountered. Power was increased and the descent was arrested, but the main rotor blades struck a dead branch protruding from a tree. The low rotor rpm warning sounded, and the pilot reduced the power and autorotated to a clear area for a safe touchdown. The sink had been experienced in gusty crosswind conditions, while the pilot had been operating at a relatively low power setting. Post flight inspection revealed that the tail rotor had also received damage, probably caused by debris from the branch struck by the main rotor blades.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 September 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1015  
Location:170 km SE of Tindal Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 06 May 1989  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-TFH 
Serial number: 1746 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Hodgson River Station NT
Departure time:N/K
Destination:Hodgson River Station NT
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