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The pilot reported that after takeoff, at approximately 200 feet above sea level, he heard a loud bang and at the same time the helicopter yawed to the right. He placed the helicopter into an autorotational descent and at the same time activated the emergency pop-out floats. This was followed by a successful forced landing on water with the helicopter remaining upright on its floats. It was later towed to the beach. The pilot's investigation revealed that the main rotor tie-down had not been stowed correctly in the rear locker by the island helicopter ground staff. The tie-down had flapped in the turbulent air beneath the main rotor and wrapped itself around the tail boom and tail rotor. The tail rotor drive shaft was sheared in the process.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 16 January 1991 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1143  
Location   (show map):Heron Island Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 04 April 1991  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-HPO 
Serial number: 3349 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Heron Island QLD
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Gladstone QLD
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Last update 13 May 2014