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Summary

Summary

The helicopter had been used for mustering throughout the day and had been refuelled from drums. When the mustering was completed the last 15 litres from a partly used drum was pumped into the auxiliary fuel tank of the helicopter. Fuel samples were taken from the main tank and filter and the helicopter flown to nearby stockyards. After a short time on the ground, the helicopter departed for the station homestead, about 37 km away. Approximately 10-15 minutes after refuelling, while cruising at 200-250 feet above ground level, the engine began to run roughly and the rotor RPM began to decay. The pilot lowered the collective control and the engine stopped. The helicopter was flying downwind in a 20-30 knot wind and the pilot was committed to a downwind autorotational landing. Touchdown was at 20-30 knots on rough ground made heavy by recent rains. The skids dug in and the helicopter nosed over and was substantially damaged. The pilot was uninjured and walked to the homestead for assistance. Subsequent inspection by recovery personnel revealed water and dirt in the fuel filters.
 
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