On 30 August 2010, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Clipper II, registered VH-ZVF, was intending to operate a private flight from Jandakot aerodrome to Hillside station Western Australia (WA).

Shortly after lift-off, control was lost and the main rotor blades struck the concrete apron adjacent to the departure helipad. The helicopter rolled and came to rest on its right side. The helicopter sustained serious damage and fragments of main rotor blade entered the hangar. Other fragments of main rotor blade were scattered over a large area of the aerodrome. The pilot sustained minor injuries while the passenger was uninjured.

Subsequently, the pilot reported he might have failed to turn the hydraulics on prior to lift- off. This may have been due to distraction created by a problem with a communications system and the unfamiliar departure sequence. The following ATSB publication provides some useful information on distraction:

  • Dangerous Distraction: Aviation Research Investigation Report B2004/0324

For a full copy of that report, please visit the ATSB's website at