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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 235371
Last updated: 23 January 2021
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Time:08:08 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II
Owner/operator:Nautilus Aviation
Registration: VH-NBR
C/n / msn: 45232
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Banks Peak, Moa Island, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Kubin Airport, QLD
Destination airport:Banks Peak, Moa Island, Queensland
Investigating agency: ATSB
On 22 April 2020, at about 07:56, a Bell 206L1-C30P LongRanger helicopter, registered VH-NBR and operated by Nautilus Aviation, departed Kubin Airport, Australia. The passenger charter flight was transporting workers and equipment to a communications tower on Banks Peak, a mountain on the north-east side of Moa Island in the Torres Strait. On board were a pilot, and two passengers seated in the rear seats.
Overhead Banks Peak, the pilot conducted an aerial reconnaissance circuit of the helicopter landing site (HLS). The pilot then approached the site from the north, for landing. Closer to the ground, the pilot had difficulty locating the helipad. Grass had grown across the helipad and its edges.
At 08:08, the pilot manoeuvred over the top of the helipad and using rotor downwash to push the grass and reveal the edges of the helipad. During this process, the tail rotor contacted trees 9 m from the helipad on the eastern side. A video taken by one of the passengers showed that, as the helicopter was turning to the right, a buzzing sound was heard, followed by a crack. Immediately after this sound, the helicopter spun rapidly to the right before rolling left. The helicopter collided with terrain and was destroyed.

Contributing factors:
- The helipad maintenance schedule was not sufficient to prevent the gravel helipad from being overgrown. This enabled vegetation to grow out from the centre of the helipad, obscuring its edges and making its borders difficult to identify during landing.
- While the pilot was manoeuvring in the confined area, the tail rotor contacted a tree. This led to a tail rotor failure, resulting in rapid rotation and collision with terrain.

Sources: (photo)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 9 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

22-Apr-2020 06:07 Captain Adam Added
23-Apr-2020 06:10 harro Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Source, Narrative]
23-Apr-2020 06:10 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
23-Apr-2020 07:54 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
23-Jan-2021 09:08 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
23-Jan-2021 09:09 harro Updated [Operator]

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