Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson R22-Beta, VH-XZT, Elizabeth Downs Station NT, 13 December 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 December 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1615    
Location: Elizabeth Downs Station    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 24 January 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-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