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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 242773
Last updated: 3 March 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:50NM east of Jabiru, NT -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Aerial patrol
Departure airport:E of Jabiru, NT
Destination airport:E of Jabiru, NT
Investigating agency: ATSB
On 3 August 2020, a Robinson R44 helicopter was conducting fire surveillance and abatement operations about 50 NM east of Jabiru, Northern Territory. In the early afternoon, the helicopter landed and shutdown in a pre-arranged temporary landing site waiting to pick up three ground personnel. At about 1700 Central Standard Time, once the personnel and their equipment was secured, the helicopter was started and brought into a hover. After checking the power available, a vertical take-off and climb was conducted until the helicopter was approximately 75 ft above ground level when a translation to forward flight commenced. The direction chosen was the most suitable available when considering terrain and wind direction.

As the pilot commenced the translation into forward flight over a treed area, the helicopter initially maintained height but as the pilot increased collective the rotor RPM began to decay. The pilot increased the throttle and lowered the collective in an attempt to regain rotor RPM. As the helicopter descended, the collective was again raised in an attempt to arrest the descent, however the low rotor RPM warning horn sounded. A further attempt to recover the rotor RPM by lowering the collective was unsuccessful leaving a forced landing as the only option available for the pilot.

A landing site was selected in the treed area and the helicopter settled onto the ground resulting in a heavy landing. The main rotor blades struck several branches as the helicopter came through the tree canopy resulting in minor damage to the blades. After securing the helicopter, the pilot and ground personnel exited the helicopter and moved a safe distance away. The heavy landing activated the inertia switch on the emergency locator transmitter.


Revision history:

23-Sep-2020 10:49 Pineapple Added
02-Mar-2021 18:44 rudy Updated
03-Mar-2021 20:19 harro Updated

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