Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 47G2, VH-SRE, Balliang, 19 km South of Bacchus Marsh VIC, 13 July 1985

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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A group of pilots had travelled from a property strip to a nearby dam in order to complete training exercises on a float-equipped Bell 47 helicopter. VH-SRE was not fitted with floats but had been used to ferry some of the pilots to the area. At the conclusion of the training operation the pilot arranged to ferry VH-SRE back to the property strip. After take-off a practice autorotation was conducted over the dam and was followed by some unauthorised low flying in the vicinity. On arrival at the strip low level runs were performed along the strip with torque turns at each end. Control of the aircraft was lost during the third of these turns and the aircraft struck the ground in a steep nose-down attitude. Fire broke out on impact and engulfed the wreckage. The subsequent investigation did not reveal any evidence of a pre-impact defect or malfunction of the aircraft which might have contributed to the accident. Several of the pilots who observed the flight reported that the final manoeuvres performed were outside the normal operating parameters of the helicopter, and were conducted at an unsafe height above the ground. It was, however, not possible to establish which of the pilots was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 July 1985   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1615 (aprx)    
Location: Balliang, 19 km South of Bacchus Marsh    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 19 March 1986   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-SRE  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point 2 km West Balliang VIC  
Departure time 1615 (aprx)  
Destination Balliang VIC