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The pilot hovered the helicopter at about 20 feet above ground, in front of cattle, in an attempt to head them off. He became aware that an uncommanded descent had commenced and almost immediately the Low Rotor RPM Warning Horn sounded. He lowered the collective control in an attempt to regain control of the rotor rpm, however, the main rotor blades hit several small trees. A heavy landing resulted during which the tail boom was cut off by the main rotor and the skids were spread. The helicopter remained upright. At the time, the temperature was about 32 degrees Celcius the helicopter was hovering into a 15 knot wind. With the helicopter some 50 kilograms below maximum gross weight and a density altitude of 3000 - 3500 feet, an out of ground effect hover was within the machine's capability. However, the pilot said that he required maximum power to hover the helicopter. It is possible that the wind conditions changed momentarily, unnoticed by the pilot, or that during manoeuvring the power requirement exceeded the maximum available. The machine was flying at too low an altitude to allow a controlled recovery from an over-pitch situation. This accident was not the subject of a formal on scene investigation.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 18 October 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1100  
Location:Homevale Station, 40km NW of Nebo Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 03 November 1989  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-HRY 
Serial number: 868 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Hay Point QLD
Departure time:N/K
Destination:Homevale Station QLD
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