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The pilot reported that on late final approach he lost all visual reference due to sunglare. He decided to carry out a go-around but heard a loud noise and the helicopter started to rotate. He was able to fly the aircraft clear of the platform before it descended into the sea. As the aircraft sank the pilot exited through the left door and after inflating his life jacket swam to the platform. Witnesses on the platform reported that the tail rotor struck the platform. No fault was found with the aircraft that may have contributed to the occurrence. It is considered likely that on encountering the loss of visual reference, the pilot inadvertently placed the helicopter in a tail-low attitude causing the tail section to strike the platform. This accident was not the subject of an on-site investigation.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 23 October 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1707  
Location:Harriet C Platform, 115km WNW of Dampier Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia  
Release date: 13 May 1987  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Aerospatiale Industries 
Aircraft model: AS350 
Aircraft registration: VH-ECU 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Lowendal Island WA
Departure time:1707
Destination:Harriet C Platform WA
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Last update 16 November 2015