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The helicopter was tasked to sling load two large metal hooks between two points on a wharf. The first hook was off-loaded, but as the helicopter was lifting the second hook, the tail rotor contacted a solar panel at the top of a light pole. Control of the aircraft was lost and it was observed to perform a nose high turn before striking the water. The helicopter floated inverted and the pilot was able to evacuate himself and swim to a boat. It is considered likely that while concentrating on the position of the load, the pilot diverted his attention from the operation of the helicopter and allowed it to descend, which resulted in the tail rotor strike.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 19 November 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1445 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:15km North-west of Karratha Occurrence type:Wirestrike 
State: Western Australia Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 13 January 1987 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-BHV 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:"Dampier Salt" Wharf, Dampier WA
Departure time:1445
Destination:"Dampier Salt" Wharf, Dampier WA
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