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The pilot was trying to muster a herd of about 12 head of cattle away from a bore to yards a couple of miles away. The cattle persisted in trying to return to the bore for water. The pilot hoped to overcome the cattle's reluctance to move by flaring the helicopter low and close to the herd. He flared down to about 5 ft and 5 kts across the herd's direction of movement and about 5 metres from the lead animal. During the flare, one bullock darted from the herd towards the right rear of the helicopter. The pilot felt a slight thump through the airframe. He immediately increased power to move on but the helicopter yawed right rapidly. By the time the pilot managed to close the throttle, the helicopter had turned through 360 degrees. Once the throttle was closed the rate of yaw diminished and the helicopter rapidly settled to the ground; it contacted first with the right skid which broke. Then, as the helicopter rolled onto its right side, the main rotors were destroyed by ground impact. When the bullock darted towards the rear of the helicopter, it impacted the spinning tail rotor with its back and broke off both of the tail rotor blades.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 12KB]
General details
Date: 15 October 1996 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 9:45 CST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Animal strike 
Release date: 17 October 1996 Occurrence class: Environment 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 BETA 
Aircraft registration: VH-LKS 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Brunchilly Station NT
Destination:Brunchilly Station NT
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Last update 28 October 2014