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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  
Location   (show map):15 km N of Broome Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Abnormal engine indications 
Release date: 21 March 2013 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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
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Last update 18 April 2018