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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 213804
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B47G model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 47G2
Owner/operator:Ord River Crop Control Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-WHR
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Calwynyardah Station, WA -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Calwynyardah Station, WA
Destination airport:Calwynyardah Station, WA
Investigating agency: BASI
The pilot, an American national, had gained his helicopter flying experience mainly as a member of the United States military forces. Prior to obtaining employment with the Operator in June 1973, he obtained Australian commercial helicopter and fixed wing pilot licences as well as an agricultural pilot rating for fixed wing aircraft. He subsequently undertook a short additional course of helicopter flying and was granted approval to conduct cattle mustering operations. Following a period of operation under supervision, the pilot commenced un-supervised operations in VH-WHR on 22 September, 1973 and, on the day of the accident, he was engaged in mustering cattle to a base camp on a property adjacent to Calwynyardah Station. During the morning he mustered cattle towards the camp, refuelling at the camp at about 0800 hours, and returned to the camp again just prior to 1000 hours. Flying conditions were fine, hot and turbulent. After some minutes he again took off and, a short time later, stockmen at the base camp observed a column of black smoke in the area, some three miles east of the camp, where the helicopter was known to be operating. Stockmen rode to the scene and found that the helicopter had crashed and a fierce fire had destroyed much of the wreckage and started a bushfire which burnt out a considerable area of scrub. There were no witnesses to the accident and the examination of the wreckage was severely restricted by the extent of the fire damage. Nevertheless, it was determined that the helicopter had struck the ground at a very high rate of descent while virtually level fore and aft and banked some 20 degrees to the left. There was evidence to indicate that, at impact, the engine was not operating and the rotational velocity of the main rotor was very low. Portion of the rear fuselage, together with the tail rotor assembly had been detached from the helicopter by a single strike of a main rotor blade and was lying ahead of the main wreckage at a distance of 140 feet. The defects detected during the examination of the wreckage are unlikely to have contributed directly to the accident but the condition of the tail rotor drive head sleeve in some circumstances could have led to some restriction of directional control.


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

Revision history:

30-Jul-2018 02:43 Pineapple Added

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