Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Final ATSB Report into Heli-Central Bell 206B Helicopter VH-WHU Wirestrike While Crop-Spraying at Carmila near Mackay

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its final report into a wirestrike and crash of Heli-Central operated Bell 206B JetRanger VH-WHU while it was spraying cane fields about 5km south-west of Carmila, 81 km south of Mackay on Saturday 25 March.

File photo

During the accident sequence, the helicopter’s tail rotor and vertical stabiliser assembly separated from the helicopter. The helicopter collided with terrain and was destroyed by impact forces and a post‑impact fire. The pilot was fatally injured.

The ATSB found that "The inherent difficulty in visually detecting powerlines was exacerbated in this case by the outer two supporting power poles being masked by trees. There was also a low-contrast background that included cane fields, rising terrain and a tree-lined creek. In combination, these features negated a number of visual cues normally associated by pilots with the location of powerlines. This increased the difficulty of the pilot seeing the wires, and reduced the time available to take action once the powerline was located."

You can read more at the ATSB website:  https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2016/aair/ao-2016-027/

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