Hard landing for firefighting helicopter in New South Wales

The pilot walked away with minor injuries

helicopter hard landing New South Wales fire
Hard landing for a helicopter that was working on the Jarrah Road Fire northeast of Newcastle, New South Wales. A dislodged rotor blade can be seen nearby. Screenshot from ABC video.

A helicopter in Australia that was working on the Jarrah Road Fire northeast of Newcastle, New South Wales experienced a mechanical problem Saturday morning which led to a hard landing. Firefighters on the ground were able to quickly put out a fire in the engine which spread to some grass around the helicopter.

“As a result, all aircraft in the area have been grounded to undergo routine safety checks,” said a spokesperson for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Paramedics treated the pilot at the scene for minor injuries but he did not need to be taken to a hospital, Matthew Doran of ABC News reported.

The privately owned helicopter was operating under a firefighting contract for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

helicopter hard landing New South Wales fire
Hard landing for a helicopter that was working on the Jarrah Road Fire northeast of Newcastle, New South Wales. Screenshot from ABC video.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

In-flight mechanical failure on helicopter fighting Washington fire – pilot walks away

A helicopter working on the Blue Creek Fire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, had a mechanical failure while in flight Monday evening, according to the Union-Bulletin which quoted Heather Lee of Walla Walla County Emergency Management. The pilot autorotated the helicopter and walked away from the incident. He refused to be transported to an hospital, Ms. Lee said.

The type of helicopter was not identified, but the Union-Bulletin reported there were two helicopters and two air tankers working the fire Monday evening, and there are photos on the newspaper’s web site of a K-MAX dropping water on the fire. The Washington DNR has a fleet of 8 UH-1 Hueys.

Autorotation can be used when there is a loss of engine power in a helicopter. It is a state of flight where the main rotor system turns by the action of air moving UP through the rotor, rather than engine power driving the rotor, forcing air down. With the right pedal and the collective property configured, the main rotor will continue to rotate and the rate of descent and direction of flight can be controlled. When nearing the ground the pilot will flare the aircraft producing, hopefully, a fairly soft landing, that may include sliding on the skids for a bit.

Congratulations to the pilot for successfully executing the maneuver.