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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 210551
Last updated: 28 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Registration: VH-WHP
C/n / msn: 990578D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:11km E of Mackay, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:YBMK
Destination airport:11km E of Mackay, QLD
The MV "Karoo", a large bulk carrier, was at anchor 11 km off Mackay, facing approximately 090 degrees M. The wind was from the south-east at about 25 knots. The helicopter had been chartered to transfer two members of the vessel's crew from shore to the ship. After an uneventful flight, the pilot landed the helicopter on the port side of cargo hatch number seven which measured 20.0 m by 14.45 m and had a smooth painted steel surface. The cargo hatch peaked in the centre and sloped down 0.85 degrees to both the port and starboard sides of the ship. The pilot positioned the helicopter so that the tail rotor protruded over the edge of the hatch on the port side. In this position, the helicopter was under the influence of a crosswind from the left front quarter. The pilot stated that he reduced the engine power to ground idle, friction-locked the cyclic and collective controls, and locked the anti-torque pedals. He then exited the cabin and walked to the right side of the helicopter to supervise the disembarkation of the passengers and to remove their luggage.

After the passengers had stepped from the helicopter, it weather-cocked about 30 degrees to the left and commenced to slide slowly backwards towards the edge of the cargo hatch. The pilot ran back to the left side of the helicopter and attempted to unlock the anti-torque pedals prior to climbing aboard. The front of the helicopter then pitched up with the pilot partly on board, then fell 3 metres onto the main deck and landed inverted beside raised piping which ran along the length of the deck. The pilot fell between the hatch and the piping and was saved from flailing rotor blades by two steel posts supporting the pipe system. The engine continued to operate for 30 to 60 seconds after the impact.

In accordance with standard procedures, the vessel's fire-fighting crew was on duty for the arrival of the helicopter. The crew sprayed the wreckage with foam and salt water as a precaution against fire.

Examination at the accident site revealed scratch marks that indicated that the left skid landing gear had dug into the painted hatch surface. The rear portion of the left skid broke in overload as the helicopter pitched up. Examination of the wreckage confirmed that the pilot had locked the controls and that the throttle control was positioned in the ground-idle detent.


Revision history:

07-May-2018 06:06 Pineapple Added

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