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After finishing four hours of commercial sling loading operations, the pilot loaded one passenger to conduct a brief non commercial operation. He took off and flew past the helipad a couple of times so that photographs could be taken, after which he returned to the same helipad for a landing. The pilot advised that he performed a normal approach to land on the helipad. The helipad was 1300 feet above sea level. At the time the temperature was about 17 degrees Celsius and the wind was almost calm. From about 15 feet the pilot was unable to fully stop the rate of descent despite the application of full power. The helicopter landed heavily on the helipad. During the touchdown the tail rotor contacted a rock which was protruding slightly at the edge of the helipad. As the helicopter was quite capable of performing a safe landing in the prevailing conditions, it is probable that the pilot inadvertently approached the helipad too quickly; this is consistent with his inability to arrest the rate of descent. The tail rotor strike occurred as the pilot was pre-occuppied trying to avoid an excessively heavy landing.

Significant Factors

The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the accident:

1. It is probable that the pilot approached the helipad too fast to arrest the rate of descent.

2. The tail rotor strike was probably the result of the pilot being pre-occuppied with the heavy landing.

General details
Date: 09 September 1993 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 16:20 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Ground strike 
Release date: 26 October 1994 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Kawasaki Heavy Industries 
Aircraft model: 47G3B-KH4 
Aircraft registration: VH-JWA 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Henty River, TAS
Destination:Henty River, TAS
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Last update 24 July 2015