Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 206B, VH-TXR, San Michele, 9 km South East of Adaminaby NSW, 7 August 1982

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was being used to film a tourist promotion advertisement. The film to be taken involved horse riders on a trail ride, along a ridgeline, backlit by the late afternoon sun. A ground survey of the area had been completed about ten weeks earlier by the pilot and production film crew. Before commencing the filming the film crew completed another ground survey of the area and also an aerial survey in the helicopter. To facilitate the filming a wooden platform was fitted to the landing skids to carry the cameraman and his equipment. The filming runs were flown in a north-westerly direction parallel to the main power line running through the area. Initially the runs were carried out to the east of the power line but subsequently runs were completed to the west of the line. All runs were flown at heights varying between 10 feet and 100 feet agl. During the last filming run the skids struck the two cables of a spur which ran from the main power line at an angle of 92 degrees. The helicopter pitched nose down and struck the ground in a near vertical attitude. On impact the landing skids, platform and cameraman were thrown clear of the main wreckage. Fire broke out immediately and only the pilot survived the combined effects of impact and fire.

The wreckage was completely burnt out. The spur line was strung across a gully over which the helicopter had been flying on the filming runs. The distance between the main line and the first pole on the spur line was 529 m and the line was struck at a point 45 ft agl. Because of the dull grey-brown appearance of the countryside no contrast was provided for the spur line. The filming runs were being made into the late afternoon sun and the pilot and film crew were unaware of the presence of the spur line.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 07 August 1982   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1605    
Location: San Michele, 9 km South East of Adaminaby    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 28 February 1984   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-TXR  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point "San Michele" NSW  
Departure time 1605  
Destination "San Michele" NSW  
Last update 13 May 2014