Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control involving a Robinson R44, VH-RYO, Moorabbin Airport, Victoria, 3 January 2013

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 3 January 2013, the student pilot of a Robinson R44 (R44) Raven 1 helicopter, registered VH-RYO (RYO), was preparing for a training flight at Moorabbin, Victoria.

During the takeoff, the student slowly raised the collective and applied some left cyclic and left yaw control pedal, the helicopter became light on the skids, and started to slide and yaw to the left. The left skid then caught on the ground twice. The student became tense and inadvertently raised the collective instead of lowering it to reject the takeoff. He reported that his subsequent movements of the controls were erratic. The helicopter pitched upwards and the tail boom contacted the ground. The helicopter rolled and came to rest on its right side. The student received minor injuries and the helicopter sustained serious damage.

Aircraft fuels are a primary hazard in a post-accident aircraft fire. If ignited they pose danger to survivors, rescue personnel, fire services personnel, etc. This accident highlights the importance of considering all the potential hazards on an accident site before entering, and if there is any doubt, remain clear.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 17

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 148KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 1.45MB]


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General details
Date: 03 January 2013   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 13:20 ESuT   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Moorabbin Airport    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 23 April 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-RYO  
Serial number 1910  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Moorabbin, Vic.  
Destination Moorabbin, Vic.  
Last update 14 November 2018