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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181167
Last updated: 15 September 2019
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Date:07-NOV-2015
Time:19:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic EC35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter EC 135T1
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: VH-GKK
C/n / msn: 0103
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Watagans National Park, S of Cessnock, NSW -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Breeza, New South Wales
Destination airport:Mona Vale, New South Wales
Investigating agency: ATSB
Narrative:
At about 1730 AEDT on 7 November 2015, the owner-pilot of a Eurocopter EC135 T1, registered VH-GKK, departed Breeza, New South Wales, on a private flight to Terrey Hills, New South Wales. The flight was conducted under the visual flight rules and there were two passengers on board.

About 40 km to the south-west of the Liddell mine, the pilot diverted towards the coast, probably after encountering adverse weather conditions. Witnesses in the Laguna area observed the helicopter overfly the Watagan Creek valley in the direction of higher terrain. The helicopter was then observed to return and land in a cleared area in the valley.

After 40 minutes on the ground, the pilot departed to the east towards rising terrain in marginal weather conditions. About seven minutes later and approximately 9 km east of the interim landing site, the helicopter collided with terrain. A search was initiated about 36 hours later. The helicopter wreckage was found at about 1840 on 9 November 2015. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured.

Contributing factor
The pilot departed an interim landing site for Terrey Hills under the visual flight rules with a high risk of encountering forecast cloud and reduced visibility. Due to the likely presence of cloud, the pilot probably experienced a loss of visual reference leading to a collision with terrain.

Sources:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/three-people-aboard-missing-nsw-helicopter-20151109-gkudtm.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-09/wreckage-of-missing-helicopter-found/6925846
https://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/11/09/16/13/up-to-nine-aircraft-scouring-northern-nsw-for-missing-helicopter
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/three-killed-in-helicopter-crash-20151109-gkuq4u.html

2018: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/millionaire-pilot-lost-visibility-in-bad-weather-before-chopper-crash-20180424-p4zbft.html
__________
ATSB report: https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5774221/ao-2015-131_final.pdf

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report


Images:



Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
09-Nov-2015 18:18 bidgee Added
09-Nov-2015 18:27 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Damage]
22-Sep-2016 09:55 Aerossurance Updated [Location]
24-Apr-2018 06:08 harro Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Narrative]
24-Apr-2018 07:39 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Photo, ]
24-Apr-2018 07:47 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Photo, ]

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