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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226
Last updated: 22 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III
Registration: VH-BKG
MSN: 3129
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Rosebud, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Port Melbourne, Victoria
Destination airport:Cape Schanck, Victoria
Investigating agency: BASI
The helicopter was used by the pilot to commute daily between his home at Cape Schanck and the Port Melbourne Helipad. At 1555 EST he obtained aerodrome forecasts for Melbourne and Moorabbin airports together with an area forecast, covering the area for the trip home. Those forecasts indicated that showers associated with patches of low cloud could be expected.

At 1710 the pilot reported to Melbourne radar advisory service (RAS) that he had departed Port Melbourne for Cape Schanck and was tracking coastal at 700 ft. At 1715 he reported to Moorabbin Tower that he was at Brighton at 700 ft for Cape Schanck, tracking via the coast and was in receipt of the Moorabbin automatic terminal information service (ATIS). The Moorabbin ATIS at that time indicated that the wind was a light northerly, the visibility was restricted to 3,000 m in rain and visual flight rules (VFR) operations were restricted

At 1728 the pilot reported to Melbourne Flight Information Service that he was at Mornington, at 700 ft, for Cape Schanck. No further communications were received from the helicopter. Numerous witnesses close to the accident site either heard and/or saw the helicopter approaching. It was observed flying low, beneath low cloud and in steady rain, in a southerly direction parallel to a main road. It then commenced a left turn over some farm houses and a short distance further on it flew into the ground near Rosebud, Victoria

Recorded radar data showed that the helicopter tracked via the coast from Port Melbourne to the Rosebud area at altitudes of between 300 and 700 ft. Approaching Arthur's Seat, a 1046 ft spot height, no further radar returns were received from the helicopter's transponder, indicating that the transponder had been either turned to standby or off.

Some primary radar returns were received but these were lost approaching Rosebud, probably indicating that the helicopter was then below radar coverage. The distance from the last transponder return to the accident site was approximately 11 km

A detailed examination of the wreckage and the accident site indicated that the helicopter flew into the ground while turning to the left with the engine developing significant power. The examination did not reveal any pre-existing defects that could have contributed to the accident

ATSB Conclusions:
1. The pilot held a night-VFR rating but he was not instrument rated (i.e., he was not qualified to fly in instrument meteorological conditions).
2. There were no pre-existing defects found with the helicopter that could have contributed to the accident. The helicopter was flown into non-VMC at night
3. The pilot obtained appropriate weather forecasts prior to the flight. The pilot probably lost visual reference, became disoriented and flew the helicopter into the ground.
4. The en route weather conditions encountered by the pilot were in accord with the area forecast and were not suitable for night-VFR flight.
5. The helicopter was flown at en route altitudes of between 300 and 700 ft.
6. At impact the engine was producing considerable power and the helicopter was travelling at a significant forward



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BASI
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

7 Jun 1990 VH-BKG 0 25km SW of Yulara, NT sub

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
19-Jan-2011 06:50 harro Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
12-Apr-2014 17:59 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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