Aviation safety investigations & reports

Total power loss - Bell helicopter TH-1F, VH-LIQ, 56 km SE Tamworth Aerodrome NSW, 8 December 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 8 December 2009, at about 1645 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Bell Helicopter Company TH-1F, registered VH-LIQ, was conducting aerial fire-fighting operations south-east of Tamworth, New South Wales (NSW). On approach to a water source, the pilot in command (PIC) noted a loss of engine power. The PIC reported that he lowered the collective2 and rolled the throttle on; however, the engine continued to spool down. The PIC manoeuvred the helicopter to a cleared area and carried out an emergency landing. The helicopter landed heavily and sustained serious damage. The PIC sustained a fractured nose, while the other occupant (second pilot) was uninjured.

At the time of writing this report, the reason for the total power loss was unknown.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.5MB]
General details
Date: 08 December 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1645 EsuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 56 km SE Tamworth Aerodrome    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 20 April 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model TH-1  
Aircraft registration VH-LIQ  
Serial number 66-1237  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Last update 14 November 2018