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Whilst conducting mustering operations at low speed and altitude over trees, the engine began to run rough. The helicopter was unable to sustain continued flight and the pilot elected to land. During the landing the rotor blades struck trees and the helicopter landed heavily coming to rest on its side. The pilot was able to crawl to safety after switching the magnetos off, but he was unable to reach the fuel mixture control. The engine subsequently oversped to destruction. The investigations found that the left magneto had suffered an internal failure. The bush supporting the distributor rotor gear had become loose in its housing, allowing the rotor to become mis-timed. During the impact sequence, the magneto earthing wires were fractured which allowed the engine to continue to run despite the pilot switching off the magnetos.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 23 July 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1050  
Location:Delta Downs Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 28 September 1990  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47 
Aircraft registration: VH-SXO 
Serial number: 7811 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Delta Downs Station QLD
Departure time:0945
Destination:Delta Downs Station QLD
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