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The helicopter was flying at 40' above ground level to enable the cameraman to film a vehicle. The crew heard a loud bang and the pilot suspected an engine failure so he commenced an autorotation. However, he quickly found that the engine responded normally to power changes but not knowing what had caused the noise, he decided to land on suitable terrain just ahead. After they had exited the helicopter, the cameraman reported to the pilot that he saw a wire just prior to hearing the noise. Inspection of the machine confirmed that it had suffered a wirestrike. The task required a high degree of attention on the movements of the vehicle in order to position the helicopter as required by the cameraman. The pilot did not have a low flying approval and his supervisor had instructed him not to descend below 100 feet above ground level, however he complied with the cameraman's request to fly as low as possible. The person occupying the left seat was not trained as an observer for this type of operation. The supporting poles for the wire struck by the helicopter were widely spaced and one was obscured by a stand of trees.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 September 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1345  
Location:McDonald's Farm (22km WSW Waikerie) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 16 December 1987 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-BLR 
Serial number: 1309 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:McDonald's Farm Helipad (14km WSW Waikerie) SA
Departure time:1310
Destination:McDonald's Farm Helipad SA
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