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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 517
Last updated: 8 April 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Registration: VH-XTX
C/n / msn: 1290633D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:70km WNW Townsville, QLD -   Australia
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Herveys Range, QLD
Destination airport:Hidden Valley, QLD
Investigating agency: BASI
The operator briefed the pilot to fly the helicopter along the powerline from one construction camp to the next and pick up passengers for transportation to another location. The operator left the construction camp in a vehicle at about the same time as the helicopter departed, and drove to the camp expecting to see the helicopter on the ground. He became concerned when the helicopter had not arrived at the camp. A short time later, a construction linesman came across the wreckage of the helicopter some 74 m west of the powerline and about 18 km south of its destination. Examination of the wreckage indicated low power and low rotor RPM at ground impact. The final descent was vertical amongst small trees with the helicopter's attitude 20 - 30 degrees nose high and approximately 40 degrees of left bank. There had been only minimal damage to the engine and it was later run prior to a specialist strip inspection. Neither the test run nor the inspection revealed any abnormalities that would have affected the operation of the engine. Examination of the remainder of the wreckage did not reveal any faults that may have contributed to the occurrence. The weather in the range area consisted of low cloud and rain over the ridges. It is possible that the pilot encountered problems with lack of visibility as he proceeded along the ridgeline following the route of the new powerline. However, the dynamics of the crash would indicate that there was no loss of control due to inadvertent flight into cloud or rain. The throttle was found in the closed position and the helicopter had impacted the ground with a high rate of vertical descent with no appreciable forward speed. The post-mortem examination report indicated that the pilot was suffering a degree of myocardial fibrosis and coronary atherosclerosis. The report concluded that these conditions could have contributed to the accident by way of pilot incapacitation. The factors contributing to the accident could not be determined.


ATSB Occurrence Nr. 199301767

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

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
03-Mar-2018 18:55 Pineapple Updated [Time, Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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