Investigation number
199800194
Occurrence date
State
Victoria
Report release date
Report status
Final
Investigation type
Occurrence Investigation
Investigation status
Completed
Aviation occurrence type
Hard landing
Occurrence category
Accident

The student with an instructor was practising autorotative landings onto the grass in the helicopter training area in the NE corner of Moorabbin airport. With the student at the controls, the helicopter touched down gently with about 10 kts forward groundspeed. During the ground slide the landing gear skids encountered a patch of sandy loam and dug in. The helicopter lurched nose down. The instructor took over the controls and raised the collective. The helicopter momentarily became airborne before landing firmly. The combined effect of the lurch and the subsequent landing bent the skids, dislodged the aft cross tube supports and caused the main rotor blades to dent the cover to the tail rotor drive shaft. The instructor had taught students to perform autorotations at Moorabbin for many years. He was surprised at finding a sandy patch in the grassed area commonly used for autorotative touch downs. He has since advised the FAC of the sand hazard. Since the accident, as the grass has progressively dried out in the summer heat, the instructor has noticed several other sandy patches scattered around the airport.

Aircraft Details
Departure point
Moorabbin Vic.
Destination
Moorabbin Vic.
Model
206B (II)
Sector
Helicopter
Registration
VH-SWH
Damage
Substantial
Manufacturer
Bell Helicopter Co