Aviation safety investigations & reports

Kawasaki Bell 47-G3B-KH4, VH-JWZ, Borenore NSW, 16 November 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was engaged in joy flights at an agricultural field day. Operations were being conducted from a paddock with a downslope of 7 toward the north. Part of the paddock had been slashed for a helipad, leaving a thick layer of loose hay on the surface. The pilot had been using the slipperyness of the loose hay to assist in obtaining translational lift, by turning and sliding the skids down the slope. He reported that the wind had been variable from the north-west. On the last take-off, the helicopter became airborne but failed to climb above about 10 feet. The rotor RPM began to decrease and the helicopter started to descend. The pilot started "milking" the collective and noticed that the wind had swung to a westerly and increased to about 15 knots. He considered turning into wind but was concerned that he would either have to land in the long grass adjacent to the pad, or that he would have problems outclimbing the heavily populated exhibition area to the west. He was also concerned that he would not be able to outclimb a set of powerlines to the north over which he had normally flown on climb out. He elected to land down the slope in a north-north-westerly direction. He flared for landing and the helicopter touched down gently, slightly tail first. As it rocked forward onto the skids the tail rose up into the main rotor disc. Part of the tail frame and tail rotor drive shaft were severed. The helicopter came to rest approximately 50 metres from its parking position at the top of the pad.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 16 November 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1503    
Location: Borenore    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 12 December 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-JWZ  
Serial number 2108  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Borenore NSW  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Borenore NSW