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Summary

Summary

The flight was to be a period of solo practice exercises following the completion of a Commercial Licence flight test a number of weeks earlier. The pilot conducted a number of circuits and landings, and on this circuit was carrying out a power termination autorotation landing from 800 feet above the ground. As he commenced levelling the helicopter from the flare, he felt a bump at the tail. He landed the helicopter and shut the engine down. An inspection revealed that the tail rotor had contacted the ground, severing the tail rotor blades. The resultant vibration and imbalance caused the tail boom to fracture and the horizontal stabiliser to became detached. No pre-existing defect was found with the helicopter which could have contributed to the occurrence. It was evident that the pilot had misjudged his height above the ground during the landing flare.

 
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