Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 206-B, VH-HPO, Heron Island QLD, 16 January 1991

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot reported that after takeoff, at approximately 200 feet above sea level, he heard a loud bang and at the same time the helicopter yawed to the right. He placed the helicopter into an autorotational descent and at the same time activated the emergency pop-out floats. This was followed by a successful forced landing on water with the helicopter remaining upright on its floats. It was later towed to the beach. The pilot's investigation revealed that the main rotor tie-down had not been stowed correctly in the rear locker by the island helicopter ground staff. The tie-down had flapped in the turbulent air beneath the main rotor and wrapped itself around the tail boom and tail rotor. The tail rotor drive shaft was sheared in the process.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 16 January 1991   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1143    
Location   (show map): Heron Island    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 04 April 1991   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-HPO  
Serial number 3349  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Heron Island QLD  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Gladstone QLD  
Last update 13 May 2014