Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hughes 269C Helicopter, VH-TES, Bortala Station (113km North of Mt Isa) QLD, 26 June 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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About ten minutes into the helimustering flight, the engine stopped with a loud bang. A downwind autorotational approach from a low altitude was attempted. The pilot used most of the rotor's energy in stretching the glide to a small, natural clearing. The helicopter then fell from tree top height (about 30 feet) onto rocky, sloping ground. It rolled over and slid several metres down the 14 degree slope. The No 1 connecting rod had failed and breached the engine crankcase. The connecting rod had failed from fatigue initiated overload. The fatigue was initiated from a galling spot on the inside of the big-end which occurred as a result of the relaxation of the bearing nip. It is probable that the relaxation of the bearing nip was caused by repeated engine overspeeds.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 26 June 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1048    
Location: Bortala Station (113km North of Mt Isa)    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 28 February 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Hughes Helicopters  
Aircraft model 269  
Aircraft registration VH-TES  
Serial number 100888  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bortala Station QLD  
Departure time 1038  
Destination Bortala Station QLD