An ATSB investigation into a fatal helicopter accident has
highlighted the continuing risks facing pilots when flying around
On 20 May 2010, a helicopter struck a powerline during forestry
spraying operations near the Latrobe Valley Airport in Victoria.
The helicopter crashed and the pilot, the only person on board,
The ATSB's investigation report, released today, describes how the
pilot struck the wire on the final spray run despite being aware of
the wire's location.
ATSB Chief Commissioner, Mr Martin Dolan, said this accident is
part of a worrying trend in aviation accidents.
"Tragically, pilots continue to die in wirestrike accidents," Mr
"More than 180 wirestrike accidents have been reported to the ATSB
over the past 10 years.
"Pilots must always be alert to the risks of flying near wires.
Using basic strategies to manage these risks, such as using
temporary powerline markers as advised in this report can save
The ATSB and the Aerial Agriculture Association of Australia
recently released an educational booklet on avoiding wirestrikes.
The booklet describes recent wirestrike accidents that occurred
during spraying activities. More importantly, it provides ways for
pilots to minimise the risk of striking a powerline while
conducting aerial operations.
Avoidable Accidents booklet: is available on the ATSB
website. Wirestrikes involving known wires: A manageable
aerial agriculture hazard
Media contact: 1800 020 616