Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson R22-B, VH-HBE, Archerfield Aerodrome QLD, 14 May 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot reported that, while hover-taxying the helicopter prior to commencing a circuit, it suddenly yawed sharply to the left. He applied right pedal and initially lowered the collective pitch control before raising it. However, the helicopter landed heavily, damaging the front and rear crosstubes. No fault was found with the helicopter which might have contributed to the accident. The pilot reported that he was not sure that an engine failure had occurred but that he reacted instinctively when the helicopter yawed left. Discussion revealed that the pilot rode a motor cycle, the hand throttle of which operated in the reverse sense to that on the helicopter. It is possible that the pilot inadvertently reduced the throttle setting, thus inducing the yaw. His limited flying experience and exposure to engine failure situations then contributed to him lowering the collective pitch control as part of the initial reaction to the yaw. The helicopter was at too low a height to prevent a heavy landing from the descent caused by the lowering of the collective pitch control.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 14 May 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1259    
Location: Archerfield Aerodrome    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 09 August 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-HBE  
Serial number 509  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Archerfield Aerodrome QLD  
Departure time 1255  
Destination Archerfield Aerodrome QLD