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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138221
Last updated: 25 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:Vanuatu Helicopters
Registration: YJ-HEL
C/n / msn: 800778D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Unua village, Malekula -   Vanuatu
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:External load operation
Departure airport:Maleluka Island, Vanuatu
Destination airport:Maleluka Island, Vanuatu
On 26 August 2011, the pilot of a Hughes 369D helicopter, registered YJ‑HEL, was conducting sling load operations near a small village 183 km north‑north‑west of Port Vila, Vanuatu. As the helicopter approached the village, with two passengers onboard, witnesses heard a single, loud bang and watched the helicopter fall 10 to 15 m to the ground before coming to rest on its right side. One of the passengers received minor injuries and was able to exit the helicopter unaided. The other passenger received serious injuries and the pilot was fatally injured.

The ATSB found that as the helicopter approached the village to land, the wire rope attached to the helicopterís cargo hook contacted a tree. That contact resulted in the rope fouling on the main rotor blades, which in turn led to the detachment of segments of the rotor blades and the tail boom. This rendered the helicopter uncontrollable. It was also found that the occupants of the helicopter were not wearing the installed shoulder harness restraints or using flight helmets during the flight.

Sources: (photo)

Revision history:

28-Aug-2011 16:12 Alpine Flight Added
28-Aug-2011 17:12 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
29-Aug-2011 01:06 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type]
02-Oct-2012 01:25 harro Updated [Date, Time, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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