Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hard landing involving Robinson R44, VH-HYR, 15 km N of Broome Airport Western Australia, 7 September 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 7 September 2012 at 0930 Western Standard Time, a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter registered VH-HYR departed Broome airport, Western Australia on a charter flight to a pearl farm, located north of Broome. On board the helicopter were the pilot and three passengers.

Shortly after departing Broome Airport, the pilot reported that the engine and rotor tachometer were indicating that the engine and rotor revolutions per minute were at the upper limit of the operating range. The pilot also advised that the engine and rotor sounded like it was overspeeding.  The pilot switched the governor off and was able to reduce the engine and rotor RPM, however the low RPM light and horn activated. At about 200 feet above ground level and a speed of 60-70 knots, the pilot was unable to re-establish control of the engine RPM and he elected to perform a precautionary landing on a road. The helicopter landed heavily and the main rotor severed the tail boom.  All occupants exited the helicopter without injury. 

The reason for the accident was not conclusively established.  However a malfunction within the governor assembly itself or the right magneto was considered likely.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 16

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General details
Date: 07 September 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1000 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 15 km N of Broome Airport    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Abnormal engine indications  
Release date: 21 March 2013   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R44  
Aircraft registration VH-HYR  
Serial number 10341  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Broome Airport, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018