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The ATSB is investigating a loss of control involving an Agusta AW139, registered VH-YHF, 39 km ENE from Darwin Airport, Northern Territory, on 13 May 2018.

During search and rescue operations, the helicopter crew commenced a manual deceleration from 800 ft to locate an emergency beacon.  The auto hover switch was engaged at about 600 ft. The crew subsequently detected a nose high attitude and an increasing rate of descent with reducing airspeed. The pilot applied power and forward cyclic, arresting the rate of descent at about 90 ft.

As part of the investigation the ATSB will interview the crew and gather additional information.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

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