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During a wallaby habitat survey of Bluff Mountain the aircraft entered severe turbulence and strong downdrafts. The pilot applied maximum power to avoid impact with the ground and the engine turbine failed. The aircraft entered trees, nosed over and caught fire. The forecast wind speed was 15 to 20 knots and the actual speed was generally close to this. The encounter with the turbulence and downdraft was sudden and unexpected and resulted in the pilot having to use all available engine power in order to regain control. The engine turbine temperature limits were exceeded, leading to the failure of the turbine.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 11 October 1981 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 640  
Location:Warrumbungle National Park Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 22 May 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Aerospatiale Industries 
Aircraft model: SA341 
Aircraft registration: VH-WLS 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Canyon Camp NSW
Departure time:0640
Destination:Coonabarrabran NSW
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Last update 16 November 2015