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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 231190
Last updated: 16 July 2020
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Time:c 14:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
OAS Parts (Bell) UH-1H Iroquois
Owner/operator:Touchdown Helicopters opf NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS)
Registration: VH-OXI
C/n / msn: 4204
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Crawford River, N of Newcastle, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:Wauchope, NSW
Destination airport:Wauchope, NSW
Investigating agency: ATSB
OAS Parts LLC / (Bell) UH-1H Iroquois, operating for NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), made a 'hard landing' and lost both main rotor and main gear box during fire-fighting operations in Crawford River, north of Newcastle, Mid North Coast, New South Wales.
The pilot had detected a tail rotor issue, disconnected the water bucket and commenced a precautionary landing. The helicopter subsequently made a hard landing, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot was uninjured.

The ATSB found that the pilot elected to abort the fire control aerial work and conduct a precautionary landing as a result of the failure of the driveshaft. While attempting to land, the pilot experienced an uncontrollable yaw to the right, resulting in a hard landing and substantial damage to the helicopter when the main rotor blades struck the ground and forcibly ejected the main gearbox, mast, rotors and KAflex® driveshaft from the airframe.
The helicopter’s KAflex® driveshaft, which transmits power from the engine to the main gearbox, failed due to a fatigue crack prior to the hard landing. The driveshaft assembly was missing five washers, which increased the risk of a driveshaft failure.

*The helicopter is registered by CASA with former US Army serial 64-13497

Sources: (photo)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

07-Dec-2019 04:38 Geno Added
07-Dec-2019 11:28 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
07-Dec-2019 11:29 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
07-Dec-2019 11:30 RobertMB Updated [Operator]
07-Dec-2019 12:46 Petropavlovsk Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Source]
07-Dec-2019 13:46 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
07-Dec-2019 15:09 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Narrative]
10-Dec-2019 17:40 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Source, Narrative]
16-Jul-2020 07:35 harro Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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