On 13 November 2013, the pilot of a Robinson R22 helicopter, registered VH STK, was conducting aerial mustering on a property about 155 km SSW of Normanton, Queensland.

At about 1249 Eastern Standard Time, the helicopter was hovering behind a mob of cattle, when the pilot felt the helicopter jerking. He landed and conducted a magneto check. He selected the left magneto and the engine rapidly lost power. He then selected the right magneto and the engine ran normally. He reselected the magneto switch to ‘both’ and attempted to contact the property manager.

He was unable to make contact with the manager and elected to take-off. Once airborne, he was able to communicate with the manager via UHF radio. He turned the helicopter towards a road and commenced an approach to land on the road.

At about 20 ft above ground level, the engine stopped. The pilot lowered the collective and flared the helicopter for landing. On impact, the helicopter spun around 180°. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the pilot was uninjured.


 Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 25