Preliminary report into AS350 helicopter powerline stringing accident

The ATSB has released a preliminary report into an AS350 helicopter’s collision with terrain 60 km east of Woomera, SA, during powerline stringing operations on 20 March 2019.

Impact marks and damage to the transmission pole contacted by the helicopter

The report outlines the established circumstances of the accident, in which the helicopter collided with a transmission pole during stringing operations for a new powerline to the Carrapateena mine site. The helicopter impacted terrain and the pilot, who was the sole occupant, received fatal injuries.

The ATSB deployed a team of five transport safety investigators to the accident site to examine the wreckage, interview witnesses, and recover a number of components for further examination.

The investigation is continuing and will include consideration of the pilot’s qualifications, experience and medical history, the maintenance documentation, and operational documentation.

A final report, which will include the ATSB’s findings and any recommended safety actions, is anticipated to be released in the first quarter of 2020.

However, should any safety issues be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

Read the preliminary report AO-2019-015: Collision with terrain involving Airbus Helicopters AS350, VH-SZS, near Woomera, South Australia

Last update 06 June 2019