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The helicopter was flying between two and three hundred feet above ground level when the pilot noticed severe oscillations of the rotor system, followed by engine stoppage a short time later. During the subsequent forced landing, the right skid contacted the ground at a significant forward speed and the helicopter rolled on to its right side. Examination of the rotor system indicated no apparent faults or failures prior to the accident. Fuel was drained from the fuel tank and the two carburettors (three points). The fuel tank and left carburettor showed clean fuel but the right carburettor contained a small but significant quantity of dirty water and solid debris. The fuel was also discoloured to a grey tone. The quantity of water was sufficient to cause engine rough running (which would induce rotor system oscillation) and engine stoppage. The pilot reported that he had conducted fuel checks before the flight from two drain points, one for the main fuel tank and one for the carburettors, both accessible from the left side of the helicopter. He was not aware that each carburettor had its own drain valve and that there was a total of three drain points.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 May 1990 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1730  
Location:3 km W of Hay Point Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 26 February 1991  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hiller Aviation 
Aircraft model: UH-12 
Aircraft registration: VH-FFU 
Serial number: 2076 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Hay Point QLD
Departure time:1727
Destination:5 km W of Hay Point QLD
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