Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Schweizer 269C-1 helicopter, VH-XTY, Moorabbin Airport, 5 December 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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During the afternoon of 5 December 2011, an instructor and student were conducting emergency procedures training in the circuit at Moorabbin aerodrome, Victoria, in a Schweizer 269C-1 helicopter, registered VH-XTY. The flight was to include low-level autorotations to simulate an engine failure during the takeoff and approach.

At about 1520 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, and at about 200 ft above ground level (AGL), the instructor initiated a practice engine failure after takeoff. The exercise was to be conducted to a power termination.

The student entered autorotation and subsequently flared the helicopter to the instructor's satisfaction; however the helicopter did not decelerate as expected. Realising that imminent ground contact would be excessive; the instructor took control, levelled the skids and attempted to arrest the descent. The helicopter impacted the ground heavily in a level attitude, moving forward and with the skids straight. The helicopter subsequently rolled onto its left side and was seriously damaged. The instructor received minor bruising and the student was uninjured.

While the reason for the accident could not be conclusively established, it is possible that low forward airspeed was a contributory factor.

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that they are reviewing their procedures for the conduct of low-level autorotations.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.63MB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 9.81MB]
General details
Date: 05 December 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1520 EDT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Moorabbin Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 24 May 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Schweizer Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 269  
Aircraft registration VH-XTY  
Serial number 102  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Moorabbin, Vic.  
Destination Moorabbin, Vic.  
Last update 14 November 2018