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The pilot had only just taken delivery of the helicopter. After attending a party he invited an acquaintance to inspect the aircraft and listen to a compact disc player which was installed. The pilot stated that the helicopter battery did not seem to have much charge and since he knew the aircraft was to be used in the morning, he decided to start the engine. He believed that there was a note in the Flight Manual stating not to leave the engine running too long without engaging the main rotors. He therefore engaged the rotor and the next thing he could recall was that the helicopter was on its right side. The pilot, although the owner of the helicopter, was not qualified or authorised for night flying. He had consumed some alcohol at the party, and there is some doubt as to whether a takeoff had been intended. Nevertheless, by starting the engine and engaging the main rotor, the pilot should have been aware that an inadvertent takeoff was possible.

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General details
Date: 18 March 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 400  
Location:Parafield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 03 July 1989 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hughes Helicopters 
Aircraft model: 269 
Aircraft registration: VH-XXM 
Serial number: 14-0014 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Parafield SA
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Parafield SA
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