On 12 February 2006, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Raven II Newscopter, registered VH-WYS, was conducting aerial filming of a banner towing helicopter in the vicinity of Williamstown, Vic. On board with the pilot were a photographer in the front left seat and a gyro-stabilised camera operator in the rear left seat.
While in a turn at low airspeed, and with a quartering tailwind, the helicopter began an uncommanded yaw to the right. The pilot attempted to regain control but the helicopter continued to rotate to the right and descended approximately 1,800 ft before control was regained. The helicopter was flown to a nearby beach and landed.
The reported ambient conditions and nature of the loss of control were consistent with the pilot report that the helicopter had suffered a loss of tail rotor effectiveness (LTE). It was possible that the onset of vortex ring state had contributed to the high rate of descent during the pilot's recovery from the LTE.
|Date:||12 February 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||Victoria||Occurrence type:||Loss of control|
|Release date:||08 February 2007||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Robinson Helicopter Co|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Essendon, Vic|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|