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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 75764
Last updated: 2 April 2020
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Date:25-MAR-1972
Time:13:30 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic S58T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sikorsky S-58ET
Owner/operator:Helicopter Utilities P/L
Registration: VH-UHV
C/n / msn: 58-1128
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Darwin Harbour, NT -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:oil drilling rig Navigator
Destination airport:Darwin, NT
Narrative:
The helicopter was substantially damaged when it was ditched in the harbour at Darwin, Northern Territory as a result of the tail rotor and the tail rotor gearbox separating from the aircraft in flight. The flight from the oil rig, positioned 227 degrees (M), 137 miles from Darwin, was uneventful until the helicopter was crossing Darwin Harbour some seven miles from the airport at a height of 1,000 feet and at a speed of 100 knots. At this point the pilot noticed a slight vibration, lasting about five seconds, which he was unable to identify. The vibration increased in intensity and there were three distinct thumps after which the helicopter pitched violently nose down and yawed to the right. The pilot lowered the collective pitch and brought the helicopter under control. Although the vibration was less severe he was unable to read any instruments. He transmitted a distress message which was received and acknowledged by Darwin Tower. The pilot then attempted to apply a small amount of collective pitch but the vibration became violent. He continued with the auto rotation, armed the flotation gear, closed the throttles to the flight idle position and the aircraft landed smoothly on the water with some right yaw. The helicopter turned clockwise in the water through about 240 degrees before it rolled onto its port side and the main rotors struck the water. Both of the wheel-mounted flotation units inflated but the one mounted on the left wheel was breached, probably during inflation. The pilot, after vacating the aircraft, assisted the passengers and all were quickly rescued by nearby boats. The aircraft remained partially submerged, resting on a sand bar, and was later recovered.

Sources:

ATSB


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Jul-2010 11:26 TB Added
23-Apr-2014 16:33 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Apr-2014 16:40 Anon. Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
25-Aug-2014 14:06 TB Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport]

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