O-320-A2B engine fitted to the previous basic R22.
Remarks by Geoff Russell: "This aircraft was registered VH-ONE on August 31, 1983, and the photo shows it in its original white with red and blue trim color scheme at the Heliflite Pty Ltd base at Castle Hill, New South Wales, when I took a few of my family for flights. On May 19 of the same year,
VH-ONE was involved in a mishap that occurred at some 23 mls (37 km) WNW of Mount House Station, Western Australia. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation report stated:
"After the helicopter had been transitioned to forward flight, the pilot felt a vibration through both the collective and cyclic controls. During his attempts to stop the vibration, the helicopter was allowed to descend. As he then selected a climb attitude the helicopter yawed to the right. The pilot was unable to correct the yaw and the tail struck a tree which slowed the yawing and allowed the pilot to land the helicopter. Initial inspection revealed that the intermediate flexplate in the tail rotor drive system had disintegrated.
A metallurgical examination of the flexplate indicated that it probably failed due to overload. The examination also revealed that prior to the application of the overload that resulted in the ultimate failure, the flexplate had been cracked and weakened by another previous overload. The cause of the overload that resulted in the pre-existing crack could not be determined. However, examination of the tail rotor indicated that the ultimate failure most likely occurred as a result of a minor tail rotor strike whilst the helicopter was transitioning into forward flight."
Also in this mishap no one was hurt, and the aircraft was repaired. And also this aircraft was involved in another mishap that occurred some 10 mls (16 km) NNE of Bestwick, Northern Territories, on August 14, 1988. The ATSB report summarized:
"The pilot was mustering over sandstone which was laced with shallow gorges and gullies. After sensing a shudder and engine miss, the pilot elected to carry out an immediate precautionary landing and landed on an outcrop of rock. While still at high RPM, the pilot moved the pedals and cyclic control to ensure that the skids were on a firm footing and tightened the collective friction. However, shortly after he exited the aircraft to inspect the idling engine, the helicopter pitched rearwards and slid off the rock into the gorge."
Again no one was hurt, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair, although it was not deregistered till 1993."