On the morning of 28 February 2015, an instructor and student were conducting a training flight in a Robinson R22, registered VH-CMK, at Archerfield Airport, Queensland. Conditions were fine and clear with a light and variable wind.

The flight included a demonstration of how to manage a jammed pedal condition, which was simulated by holding the pedals in a set position with foot pressure. As part of the demonstration, the instructor conducted a simulated jammed-pedal run-on landing on a grass surface outside the defined runway strips, near the northern boundary of the airport. When the helicopter touched down, it bounced slightly, and yawed to the left, while still travelling forward at about 10 to 15 kt. The instructor discontinued the demonstration following the bounce, but was unable to correct the yaw before the helicopter touched down again.

When the helicopter touched down a second time after a very short and shallow bounce, even though the helicopter was level, the forward part of the right skid dug into a surface undulation. The right skid then effectively acted as a pivot, tipping the helicopter onto its right side. The instructor and student escaped with minor injuries, but the helicopter was substantially damaged.

This accident highlights the manner in which some hazards may not be immediately obvious. Helicopter training organisations are encouraged to consider the quality of the landing area surface during hazard identification and risk assessment processes associated with training operations, particularly those that involve run-on landings.

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 41


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