Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 206-B, VH-ITH, 7 km NW of Jamestown SA, 10 December 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 24 March 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

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