Helicopters in Turbulence: Part 1

An R-44 was an a charter flight with one pilot and passenger over the Mount Windsor National Park near Mossman, Queensland on November 16, 2016 when one of the main rotor blades struck and separated a section of the tailcone, which resulted in a near vertical descent through the forest canopy. Left: Visual inspection of the rear tailcone assembly revealed a strike mark and yellow paint transfer. Right: The empennage was found adjacent to the main wreckage with both tail rotor blades separated. Credit: Queensland Police Service, annotated by Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
There are many sectors of rotorcraft aviation that regularly operate in the mountain environment. For the emergency medical services sector, it means dispatches into foreboding terrain, often when threatening weather is likely. For pilots involved with natural resource management, it might mean...

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