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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) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 28 February 1989  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
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
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