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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

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