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The pilot approached the helipad flying into a 15 knot wind. He overflew the pad and turned left through 180 degrees and overflew the pad again. The helicopter was then slowed to about zero knots IAS and placed in a tight left turn with the intention of approaching the helipad for a landing into wind. After the turn onto downwind was completed translational lift was lost when the pilot reduced airspeed to close to zero knots. The tight left turn was then initiated. The combination of the loss of translational lift and the turn probably required more power from the helicopter than it was capable of delivering. The rotor R.P.M. decayed significantly as the helicopter was overpitched and a high sink rate developed. A passenger, who was a more experienced pilot, took control and attempted to recover rotor RPM but he was unsuccessful. The helicopter impacted heavily with the ground and a pile of gravel and rolled onto its right side.

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General details
Date: 13 December 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1615  
Location:Elizabeth Downs Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 24 January 1988 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-XZT 
Serial number: 633 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Tipperary Station NT
Departure time:1550
Destination:Elizabeth Downs Station NT
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