Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 47-G3B1, VH-ANG, Coleman River (270 km South Weipa) QLD, 3 July 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was being used in a program of disease eradication in cattle. After operating for about one hour, the pilot flew to a boat anchored in the river and hovered alongside it while signalling to the crew that the aircraft would return in about two hours. As the helicopter left the hover it was climbed to approximately 60 feet in a left turn through 270 degrees. The aircraft was then descended to an unnecessarily low altitude while gaining speed. Shortly afterwards, as the aircraft approached the bank of the river, the pilot realised that the aircraft was not responding to control inputs as he had expected. He applied more collective control in an effort to avoid flying into the water, but the rotor overpitched and the aircraft struck the water at about 40 knots. No defect was found that would have prevented normal operation of the flight controls or engine.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 03 July 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 730    
Location: Coleman River (270 km South Weipa)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 01 May 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-ANG  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Kowanyama QLD  
Departure time 0730  
Destination Kowanyama QLD