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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 747
Last updated: 6 April 2019
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Date:24-JAN-1993
Time:06: 50 EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic R22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R22 Beta
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: VH-AHT
C/n / msn: 1965
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:5 km ESE Helenslee, Queensland -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Agricultural
Departure airport:Helenslee, Queensland
Destination airport:Helenslee, Queensland
Investigating agency: ATSB
Narrative:
The pilot was mustering cattle. The helicopter's gross weight was estimated at 602 kilograms which was 20
kilograms below maximum allowable. The terrain was approximately 1000 feet above sea level and the outside air
temperature was about 25 degrees Celsius.

The surviving passenger recalled that the helicopter was about 35 feet above ground level when he first heard the low rotor warning horn and saw a warning light on the instrument panel. There were trees ahead which were about 25 feet high. The pilot said "whoops", pulled up, nosed over and veered slightly left towards a gap in the trees. At the time the helicopter had very little forward airspeed. He subsequently described a weightless feeling which is consistent with the pilot having applied a large forward cyclic input to achieve the "nose over".

He recalled that the pilot was "fighting" the cyclic control for a short time as the helicopter rolled to the right into a tree. The survivor also remembers leaves flying about but he has no recollection of a rotor blade hitting a limb.

Damage sustained by the helicopter indicated that the main rotor struck a tree limb and that one rotor blade was severed about one metre inboard from its tip. When the section of rotor was severed, the remaining rotor blade flapped up causing a severe mast bump which resulted in overload failure of the mast at the main rotor head. The main rotor assembly departed and the unsevered rotor blade impacted the first section of the tail boom immediately aft of the engine. The main rotor did not sever the tail boom or the tail rotor drive shaft or the tail rotor control tube.

The tail rotor drive shaft within the tail boom was severed in torsional/bending overload when the boom separated
probably as the helicopter impacted the tree and fell through its limbs. The right side of the helicopter, in the area of the fuel tank to the pilot's upright seat cushion, was pushed inwards probably when the helicopter impacted the tree. The right side of the landing skid was severely deformed and broken. No such damage was found on the left skid. It is probable that, after the tree impact, the helicopter impacted the ground right side low and bounced on to its left side where it was found at rest.

There was no post crash fire. Damage to the tail rotor assembly indicated that the tail rotor was still rotating but probably not being driven by the engine when the tail rotor blades impacted foliage.

Registration VH-AHT cancelled 30/6/1993

Sources:

1. http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1993/aair/aair199300693.aspx
2. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=50776
3. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://coptercrazy.brinkster.net/search/r22show.asp?start=1951&count=50]


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
02-Mar-2008 05:19 Andrew Whitton Updated
20-Jan-2012 15:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Sep-2016 15:10 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Sep-2016 15:12 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description