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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.

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General details
Date: 05 December 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1520 EDT  
Location   (show map):Moorabbin Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 24 May 2012 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
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.
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Last update 01 March 2016