On 31 July 2013 at about 1500 Eastern Standard Time, an instructor and pilot under review departed Bankstown, New South Wales, in a Bell 206B helicopter, registered VH‑EPQ (EPQ), to conduct a Helicopter Flight Review. The pilot under review flew the helicopter to just south of Bringelly to conduct aerial work.

The crew conducted practice autorotation’s with the plan to go-around at about treetop height. The instructor reported that because they intended to go-around, the flare was conducted higher than if they had planned to land on the ground.

At the commencement of the last autorotation, the instructor noticed that the pilot was heavy on the controls. At the flare point, the instructor attempted to increase the throttle, but he was unable to apply pressure in time. At that stage, the helicopter was too low to be able to apply power and go around, but too high for a normal landing flare.

The helicopter struck the ground heavily and one rotor blade touched the tail cone resulting in substantial damage, the crew were uninjured.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 23