Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell Helicopter 47G3B1/M, VH-AHG, Waratah, Tas, 9 January 1970

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had made only one previous take-off from the Huskisson camp helipad. This was during an area familiarisation flight which he had conducted earlier in the day. Prior to the familiarisation flight he had not flown a Bell 47 series aircraft for several months. The aircraft load on take-off consisted of two passengers and 35 pounds of baggage and freight. The temperature was about 18 degrees centigrade and a light north-easterly breeze gave a tailwind component of 3 to 5 knots in the take-off direction. The flight path after take-off was dictated by the terrain and lay across a heavilytimbered gully towards a saddle slightly higher than the pad. During the lift-off and initial hover the engine operation appeared normal. Because of the tailwind an increase in power became necessary during transition to forward flight. After travelling about 100 yards, during which time he applied full power, the pilot decided that the aircraft would be unable to clear the trees ahead. He turned back towards the take-off point and, when it became apparent that the rotor speed was decaying, continued the turn and allowed the aircraft to settle towards a partly-cleared area at the bottom of the gully. At a height of about 40 feet, the main rotor struck the surrounding trees. The aircraft fell heavily to the ground and burst into flames on impact.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 157KB]
General details
Date: 09 January 1970   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1429 TST    
Location: Waratah    
State: Tasmania   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 26 October 1971   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-AHG  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Huskisson Camp Helipad  
Departure time 1427  
Destination Mt. Bischoff Helipad  
Last update 10 June 2014