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The aircraft was engaged in defining swarms of locusts as part of a control programme. The helicopter was being flown at about 35 feet above ground level, when one of the main rotor blades struck a powerline. Control of the aircraft was lost and it struck the ground in a nose down attitude, 111 metres beyond the powerline. The pilot had flown over the area earlier in the day, but had not sighted the wire. On this occasion he did not make a specific search for wires before commencing the low level operation. The span of wire between the support poles measures 610 metres and although the support poles were easy to see, the wire was not. The pilot was not aware that the helicopter had collided with the wire until some time after the accident.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 10 December 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1518  
Location:7 km NW of Jamestown Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 24 March 1988 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-ITH 
Serial number: 3461 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:8 km NW of Jamestown SA
Departure time:1513
Destination:7 km NW of Jamestown SA
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