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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 201665
Last updated: 4 September 2021
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Time:12:55 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B
Owner/operator:Helistar Aviation
Registration: VH-SDZ
MSN: 4648
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Emerald, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Middlemount Airport, QLD (MMM/YMMU)
Destination airport:Middlemount Airport, QLD (MMM/YMMU)
Investigating agency: ATSB
The Bell 206 helicopter, registered VH‑SDZ (SDZ), departed from Middlemount Airport, Queensland with a pilot and crew member on board to conduct power line inspections 32 km to the south.
At approximately 12:55, the pilot positioned the helicopter in a hover 30 ft above the ground and 40 metres from a transmission tower so that it could be photographed by the crew member. After 3-4 minutes of hovering, the pilot heard what was described as a ‘very loud bang’ through the airframe, which was also felt through the controls. The helicopter began to shake violently and bounce vertically. The pilot also reported seeing tiny pieces of debris falling in front of the helicopter.
In response, the pilot immediately lowered the collective, intending to land in a clear area below the helicopter, but it did not respond to collective or cyclic control inputs. Instead, the helicopter began to pitch upward and drift backwards. The helicopter then yawed to the right, most likely due to contact with trees behind. The yaw could not be controlled with the tail rotor pedals so the pilot moved the throttle to the idle position. Despite attempts to level the aircraft, the left skid contacted the ground first and the helicopter rolled over.
The pilot moved the throttle and fuel shut off valve to the off position and switched off the battery before both occupants exited the helicopter. The pilot and the crew member were uninjured as a result of the occurrence.

ATSB Findings
While hovering, the pilot experienced a loss of cyclic and collective control that resulted in a ground collision. The reason for the loss of control was not able to be determined.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

24-Nov-2017 10:07 Petropavlovsk Added
24-Nov-2017 10:08 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Source]
25-Nov-2017 17:16 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
08-May-2019 07:18 harro Updated [Time, Total occupants, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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