Incident Robinson R44 VH-APM, Sunday 25 September 1994
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Date:Sunday 25 September 1994
Time:15:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44
Owner/operator:Helioz Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-APM
MSN: 0044
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Winton, VIC -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Winton, Victoria
Destination airport:Winton, Victoria
Investigating agency: BASI
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The pilot was conducting joy flights in the vicinity of an active car race track. The helicopter type was recently introduced into Australia and was a relatively new design. VH-APM had accrued only 128 hours total time since new. The pilot took off into a 15 knot wind with three passengers on board. The helicopter was operating at less than maximum gross weight, with a significant power margin.

The pilot advised that when the helicopter was about 100 feet above the ground, climbing at about 55 knots, he felt a slight airframe vibration and heard the engine noise increase slightly. The vibration level continued to worsen. The pilot had no idea what was causing the vibration or how serious it was. He elected to land the helicopter as soon as possible. As there was no suitable landing site immediately ahead, he turned back to the departure helipad and instigated a power-on (needles joined) autorotative descent. Nearing the ground the pilot flared the helicopter, which was facing downwind, and applied maximum power, but was unable to eliminate the rate of descent.

The helicopter sank through the flare and landed heavily, tail low, short of the helipad, in the clear takeoff departure path area, with five to 10 knots ground speed. Subsequently engineers discovered that the engine cooling fan had come loose on its shaft thereby causing the vibration. A crack was also discovered on the forward face of the fanwheel.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: BASI
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

1. https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1994/aair/199402749/
2. https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/4934157/199402749.pdf
3. https://www.regosearch.com/aircraft/au/APM
4. https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/8759424

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Mar-2018 09:28 Pineapple Added
17-Aug-2018 18:01 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Jun-2022 03:09 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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