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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 211651
Last updated: 25 April 2019
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Date:30-APR-2011
Time:14:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aerospatiale AS350BA
Owner/operator:
Registration: VH-RTV
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:8km NE of Ballera, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:YLLE
Destination airport:YLLE
Narrative:
On 30 April 2011, at about 14:10 AEST, the crew (pilot and crewman) of an Aerospatiale AS350BA helicopter, registered VH-RTV, was conducting sling load operations from Ballera Airport, Queensland, to replenish inhibitor tanks at gas well-heads that were not accessible by road. Up to 600L of chemical inhibitor, carried in a 1000L tank, was attached to the cargo hook on the belly of the helicopter, via a 30m line and shackle. The pipe work associated with the well-head was orientated north-south. Two exhaust pipes, part of the well-head pressure regulating system, extended approximately 2m above the other pipe work. The well-head tanks were at the southern end of the pipe work adjacent to the antenna and solar panels of a remote operating console. The wind was from the east at 6-8 kts. The well-head was surrounded by shallow water and the closest landing area was about 50m away from the well-head tanks. The crew’s intention was to place the slung load on the ground adjacent to the tanks. To limit potential damage to the shackle from ground impact, it was standard procedure to descend the helicopter to within a few metres of the ground before jettisoning the long line. The pilot reported that the flight proceeded normally and he flew a clockwise orbit over the well-head during which he and the crewman identified the solar panels and well-head tanks. For best visibility and load control, he approached the drop point in a crabbing approach from the north, with the nose oriented into the easterly wind. The pilot drifted RTV right and placed the load on the ground adjacent to the well-head tanks. He then continued the descent in preparation to jettison the long line. The pilot had just received confirmation from the crewman that the helicopter was clear of obstacles when he heard and felt a loud bang, accompanied by vibration through the rudder pedals. The pilot reported that he believed that the helicopter had incurred a tail strike. He was aware that the helicopter was overhead the well-head and raised the collective pitch control in an attempt to move clear of the well-head. However, the helicopter began an anti-clockwise rotation so he immediately closed the throttle and the aircraft settled to the ground close to the well-head tanks, accompanied by the sound of the low rotor revolutions per minute (RPM) warning horn. Neither of the crew members were injured. Impact damage
to the tail rotor resulted in it and the tail fin assembly being separated from the helicopter.

Sources:

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/3460925/ab2011077.pdf#page=67


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
30-May-2018 13:44 Pineapple Added
30-May-2018 14:00 Pineapple Updated [Source]

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