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The aircraft was cruising at about 150 - 200 feet above the trees over heavy scrub country when the engine coughed. The pilot started a descent and the engine regained power briefly before stopping completely. Unable to reach a suitable area for an autorotational landing, the pilot avoided two large trees before the aircraft crashed through smaller trees and struck the ground. The aircraft had been operating for some two and one half hours since refuelling to full tanks, which usually provided an endurance of at least three hours. The pilot was in the habit of managing his fuel by reference only to the operating times and by landing to conduct a sight check of the fuel tank contents after about two and one half hours of operations. No reliance was apparently placed on the fuel contents gauge in the aircraft. An inspection of the aircraft after the accident revealed fuel stains over the oil tank, induction plate and main frame. The inspection also revealed that two screws were missing from the carburettor drain tap plate. No signs of the fuel leak were reportedly evident at the previous pre-flight inspection.

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[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 29 November 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1300  
Location:35 km East of Elsey Stn Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 25 January 1990  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Kawasaki Heavy Industries 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-HFV 
Serial number: 2186 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Elsey Stn NT
Departure time:1030
Destination:Elsey Stn NT
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