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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 212772
Last updated: 8 April 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic UH12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hiller UH-12E
Registration: VH-FBR
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:20km NE of Goondiwindi, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Araluan, QLD
Destination airport:Araluan, QLD
Investigating agency: BASI
The pilot was the holder of a letter of approval, authorising him to conduct animal culling operations. He was experienced in this type of operation and had flown in the Goondiwindi area for several days prior to the accident. For the culling operation the helicopter was flown with the doors removed. The pilot sat in the centre of the bench seat and both flew the helicopter and watched for targets. A shooter sat on one side of him and an observer on the other, to assist with spotting the animals. A number of persons shared the duties of shooter and observer. The terrain over which the operation was being conducted was generally flat and open scrub land. A number of power lines crossed the area but these were fairly easily discernible and the pilot had previously operated at a height sufficient to clear the lines.

Flying had commenced at about 0845 hours and continued throughout the day, with short intervals for refuelling and two longer periods for refreshments. At approximately 1615 hours the helicopter departed on the final flight for the day . The weather was fine and clear and the surface wind was calm. The sun was in the northwest, some 12 degrees above the horizon. There were apparently no visual witnesses to the final stages of the flight but persons on the ground, some 800 metres from the accident site believed the operation proceeded normally, with numerous gunshots being heard, prior to cessation of engine noise and the sound of impact.

Whilst in low-level flight, on a northwesterly heading, the helicopter had struck a 7.6 metres high power line. The wire had not initially broken but had caught on the helicopter, at the level of the cabin floor. After the collision the helicopter had continued in forward flight for 129 metres, before the restraining effect of the wire caused it to become inverted and strike the ground. The power line broke during this impact. Examination of the wreckage found no evidence of pre-existing malfunction or defect. A dead kangaroo was found near the point where the helicopter had struck the power line. In this location it could have caused a distraction to the pilot's attention as the helicopter was approaching the power line.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

01-Jul-2018 07:31 Pineapple Added

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