Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ATSB Investigating a Recent Pair of Incidents with Local Helicopters - Bell 206 VH-SDZ Crashed near Emerald Airport - R-44 VH-WRR Ditches into Water near Hamilton Island Airport

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a collision with terrain involving Bell 206B VH-SDZ near Emerald Airport Saturday 18 November.

Mike Didsbury / https://www.flickr.com/

The ATSB reports that "During aerial work, the pilot detected an abnormal noise and conducted a precautionary landing. As it landed, the helicopter rolled onto its side, resulting in substantial damage."

Meanwhile, a couple of other nasty helicopter incidents that have also occurred this year continue to be investigated or have had their final report released by the ATSB.

On Wednesday 8 November, Whitsunday Air Services Robinson R-44 VH-WRR ditched into water some 49km North of Hamilton Island Airport.


The ATSB reports that "During cruise, the engine lost partial power and the helicopter was unable to maintain altitude. The pilot conducted an autorotation and deployed the emergency flotation system, landing on water. The crew and passengers were not injured  and were rescued by a local vessel. The helicopter was subsequently submerged in the water."

Finally, on Friday 17 March, Agusta AB206A (Bell 206) helicopter VH-DPU crashed while on a flight from Caboolture Aerodrome to Curtis Island, between Gladstone and Rockhampton, with only the pilot and one other passenger on board.

File photo

The ATSB's final report states that "The pilot reported that they tracked along the coast at about 500 ft and then turned the helicopter to the left from the coast to identify their planned landing site. The pilot was uncertain of the number of turns conducted near the landing site, but believed that it was during the second turn at about 50 ft and 40–60 kt that they suddenly felt there was ‘no power’. The pilot reported that the helicopter made one uncontrolled turn through about 360° during the descent, and at some stage they lowered the collective with the assumption the engine had failed. The helicopter initially impacted upright in the water before the airframe separated from the helicopter skids, turned through 180° and rolled onto its left side."

You can read more on the ATSB website at:  https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2017/aair/ao-2017-033/

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