"Following an hour of dual assessment flying, the instructor authorized the student to perform his first solo flight. As soon as the helicopter was lifted into the hover, it began to move to the right. The right skid contacted the ground, the aircraft rolled to the right and came to rest on its side. Although he had been briefed on the different handling characteristics of the aircraft when only one person was on board, the student had evidently not anticipated the degree of change which would occur."
Although the student pilot escaped injuries, the aircraft was substantially damaged. Restored to airworthy conditions, the aircraft served with Heliflite for a few years, when it was involved in another mishap at Hoxton Park on January 8, 1988. The ATSB investigation report this time stated:
"The student was receiving instruction in autorotative techniques. The crew completed several autorotative descents terminating in power recoveries. The instructor then demonstrated an autorotation during initial climb at 50 knots (58 mph, 93 kmh), simulating an engine failure after takeoff. The helicopter was leveled and throttle and collective applied, but the instructor was unable to arrest the rate of descent and the helicopter landed heavily.
Following a bounce, the left skid dug into the ground and the helicopter cartwheeled before coming to rest upright, facing in the reciprocal direction to the landing. The instructor commenced the practice autorotation after takeoff at too low a height/speed configuration. Despite the use of power, he was unable to reduce the excessive sink rate prior to ground impact."
Again the occupants escaped injuries, this time the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.