Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hard landing - Bell Helicopter 206, VH-AYP, Maitland Airport, 29 October 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 29 October 2011 a Bell Helicopter Company B206 BII Jetranger, registered VH-AYP, departed Maitland Aerodrome, New South Wales for a local training flight with an instructor and student on board.

On descent into the aerodrome, the instructor demonstrated a  practice autorotation from 1,000 ft above ground level (AGL). The demonstration was not a planned exercise for the flight. It was intended that engine power would be restored and the autorotation would cease before ground contact, as a power termination.

The aircraft was levelled at approximately 5ft to 10ft AGL and the collective raised in anticipation of a power termination.  At the same time, the low RPM horn sounded and light illuminated.  The throttle had not been opened completely as required and was wound to the full open position as the helicopter settled to the ground. 

The helicopter landed heavily and sustained serious damage.

The ATSB has been advised by the flying training organisation of the following proactive safety action in response to this occurrence;

  • A briefing is to be conducted before any emergency training is performed.
  • Implementation of the, IMSAFE personal checklist for both instructor and student, to assess their fitness to fly prior to every lesson.


Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 4.43MB]
General details
Date: 29 October 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1745 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Maitland Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 14 March 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-AYP  
Serial number 1896  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Maitland, NSW  
Destination Maitland, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018