On 19 August 2012 at about 1520 Eastern Standard Time, a Kawasaki Heavy Industries 369HS helicopter, registered VH-JWJ, was approaching a landing site at Konwack, Victoria. As the helicopter approached the intended landing site the ‘engine out’ caution light illuminated, accompanied by the low rotor revolutions per minute (RPM) horn and a loss of power.
The pilot immediately lowered the collective to enter autorotation, but then increased the position of the collective lever to clear a line of trees directly in his path. Clearing the trees, the pilot was able to maintain speed by keeping the nose of the helicopter down while descending. The right skid contacted the ground and was torn off, taking the tail boom with it. The aircraft skidded for about 80 m before coming to rest. The pilot was uninjured while the passenger sustained a minor head wound.
The cause of the reported power loss could not be determined. The accident highlights the value of restraints and helicopter safety helmets for both pilots and passengers.