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On 13 May 2005, a McDonnell Douglas Hughes 369E helicopter, registered VH-INM, experienced an in-flight failure of the tailrotor drive shaft. The aircraft had departed Archerfield Airport, Qld, and was in climb to cruise at approximately 1,000 ft above ground level when the pilot encountered tailrotor control difficulties. The aircraft was landed and brought to rest in an upright position at Fig Tree Pocket, Qld.

The broken tail shaft (P/N 369D21615-41) was submitted to the ATSB, where examination revealed that the component had sustained a twisting buckling failure from excessive torsional loads. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of pre-existing damage that might have initiated the failure.

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General details
Date: 13 May 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 10:30  
Location   (show map):Fig Tree Pocket Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 22 December 2006 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Hughes Helicopters 
Aircraft model: 369 
Aircraft registration: VH-INM 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Archerfield, QLD
Destination:Archerfield, QLD
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Last update 16 February 2016