Aviation safety investigations & reports

Forced/precautionary landing involving a Bell Helicopter Co 206B (III), VH-UTS, Bungle Bungle National Park, WA on 9 August 1996

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was on a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle National Park. As it passed an outcrop it appeared to be rocked by turbulence. The helicopter yawed to the right and commenced an uncommanded descent. The pilot stopped the descent and checked the engine indications. Although no warning lights were illuminated the rotor and N2 RPM were still increasing. The pilot was able to stop the N2 overspeed at 104 per cent. He turned the helicopter towards the airfield and commenced a cruise descent. As the helicopter descended through 150 ft, on final approach, the engine-out alarm sounded and the pilot heard the turbine RPM decreasing. He turned the helicopter into wind and completed an autorotational approach, landing short of the airfield. After landing, the pilot observed the engine was still operating at idle RPM. Post-landing inspection disclosed damage to the tail boom, probably as a result of a heavier-than-normal touchdown. It was reported the rotor and N2 RPM problems were the result of a sheared engine governor drive shaft.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 12KB]
General details
Date: 09 August 1996   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 8:37 WST    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Forced/precautionary landing  
Release date: 17 September 1996   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206B (III)  
Aircraft registration VH-UTS  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bellburn WA  
Destination Bellburn WA