Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hard landing involving a Robinson R22, VH-YZO at Toowoomba Airport on 20 February 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 139KB]

On 20 February 2014, at about 1600 Eastern Standard Time (EST), a Robinson R22 helicopter, registered VH-YZO, lifted off at Toowoomba Airport, Queensland, for a local training flight with an instructor and student pilot on board.

The training sequence included conducting a simulated tail rotor failure in the hover. The instructor established the helicopter in the hover at about 3 ft AGL and announced ‘practice tail rotor failure, 3 2 1’, and applied right pedal. The student completed the sequence as demonstrated. The instructor then counted the student into a second attempt and as he applied right pedal, the student lowered the collective very quickly. The instructor recovered control of the helicopter and raised the collective however the helicopter landed hard.

The instructor then conducted a walk-around inspection of the helicopter to assess for any damage with none found. The student then practiced the sequence for the third time. After establishing the hover and counting the student in, the instructor applied right pedal, and ensured that he covered the throttle detent and placed his hand so as to prevent the student from rapidly lowering the collective. On this attempt, the student rolled the throttle off and rapidly raised the collective. The helicopter ballooned, to about 8 ft AGL, landed heavily, bounced once and subsequently landed on the left skid before settling level on both skids.

After the landing the instructor detected that the helicopter was leaning to the right. He exited the helicopter and observed that the landing skid was damaged.

This incident highlights the importance of a flight instructor understanding the possible ways a student may respond to a training scenario. The instructor can then guard the controls in anticipation of incorrect control input by the student.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 31

Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 139KB]


To download, click the link, then right-click and select Save As.

Copyright in material obtained from other agencies, private individuals or organisations, belongs to those agencies, individuals or organisations and should be credited accordingly.

General details
Date: 20 February 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1600 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Toowoomba Airport    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 17 June 2014   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-YZO  
Serial number 4289  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Toowoomba, Qld  
Destination Toowoomba, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018