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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 78619
Last updated: 26 April 2019
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Date:10-OCT-2010
Time:08:33 EDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 350B Squirrel
Owner/operator:Wayport Pty Ltd
Registration: VH-ROU
C/n / msn: 1119
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Oaks Fire Trail, 2 km SW of Woodford, Blue Mountains, NSW -   Australia
Phase: En route
Nature:Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Parramatta Heliport, Sydney, NSW (YPRT)
Destination airport:Bathurst, NSW (BTH/YBTH)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Narrative:
The helicopter was on its way to the Bathurst 1000 car race when it encountered low cloud. It attempted to turn around but crashed into the forest 2.5 km south of Woodford in the Blue Mountains. The 6 occupants (pilot and 5 passengers) have received various injuries, none of which are life threatening. The crash location was close to a mountain biker track and some passing riders raised the alarm

According to the summary of the official ATSB report into the incident:

"At about 08:22 EDT (Eastern Daylight-saving Time) on 10 October 2010, the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350B Squirrel helicopter, registered VH-ROU, inadvertently entered cloud while operating a visual flight rules charter flight from Parramatta heliport to Bathurst, New South Wales (NSW) with five passengers on board. The pilot became spatially disoriented and exited the base of the cloud just prior to colliding with terrain next to the Oaks Fire Trail, which was about 2 km south of Woodford, in the Blue Mountains region of NSW. Two of the passengers sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital. The helicopter was seriously damaged.

The investigation found that, in the hours prior to, and during the flight, several operational and tactical decisions were made that did not adequately address the risk of visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions. In addition, a minor safety issue was identified in respect of the lack of a requirement for a charter‑specific risk assessment for the flight. The result was that the risks associated with the charter were not adequately addressed. In response, the operator has advised that the operations manual will be amended to require risk assessments in support of all operational flights."

Sources:

1. http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/4182513/ao2010076.pdf
2. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sunday-telegraph/chopper-down-in-blue-mountains/story-e6frewt0-1225936607582
3. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/a-lucky-escape-but-crash-cause-remains-unknown-20101010-16e3f.html
4. http://newcastle.iprime.com.au/index.php/news/national-news/six-survive-blue-mountains-chopper-crash
5. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/10/3034156.htm
6. http://www.airbushelicopters.com/site/docs_wsw/RUB_36/Potential_28_01_2014.pdf
6. http://www.16right.com/registers/aus?Mark=ROU&Rhname=&Type=&submit=Search

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


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
10-Oct-2010 03:22 VHKDK Added
10-Oct-2010 16:40 angels one five Updated [Time, Location, Narrative]
10-Oct-2010 21:32 angels one five Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
10-Oct-2010 21:32 angels one five Updated [[Aircraft type, Narrative]]
11-Oct-2010 01:15 VHKDK Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
23-Nov-2010 04:44 rvargast17 Updated [Time, Aircraft type]
02-May-2011 17:53 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Source, Narrative]
31-Jul-2014 03:15 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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