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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 518
Last updated: 26 April 2019
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Date:26-FEB-1997
Time:01:13 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369HS
Owner/operator:Heli-Zec
Registration: VH-XAX
C/n / msn: 530481(S)
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:MV Cape Arnhem, 32 km E or Gladstone, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Take off
Nature:Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:MV Cape Arnhem
Destination airport:Gladstone, QLD
Narrative:
The helicopter was being used for the ship to shore transport of a marine pilot. The helicopter landed on the ship (MV Cape Arnhem) without incident and was positioned across the deck facing towards the port side. After collecting the marine pilot, the helicopter took off straight ahead before starting a left turn. There was a collision between the helicopter and the pulley block of a deck crane, and the helicopter fell into the sea, where it floated inverted, supported by the buoyancy of its fixed floats.

Small pieces of rotor blade debris were found on the ship's deck. A fisherman heard the ship's master report the accident on the marine radio frequency and, after searching for about 25 minutes, located the wrecked helicopter. The passenger was fatally injured, and the pilot sustained minor injuries.

The accident happened in darkness (0110L) but in clear weather. The helicopter landing area on the Cape Arnhem is on the No.2 hatch, between the No. 1 and 2 crane, and has a clear area of 25m. by 20m. At the time of the accident the ship was steaming at 14.5kt. with all its deck lights on.

This was the first time the ship's master had accepted a helicopter marine pilot transfer from this ship. He was familiar with helicopter operations onto larger ships. He was hesitant to agree to a helicopter transfer until the ship's agent and the marine pilot convinced him that the size of the proposed landing site was adequate. This was also the first occasion that the helicopter pilot had conducted a marine pilot transfer with this ship. However, he had previously conducted two marine pilot transfers at night onto the sister ship, the most recent being on 11 February 1997.

Sources:

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1997/mair/mair109/
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/1997/aair/aair199700583/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
17-Jan-2009 07:01 harro Updated
24-Jun-2017 13:47 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
24-Jun-2017 14:04 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]

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