Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson R22-A, VH-PYG, 240 km NE Katherine NT, 1 September 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was assisting a ground party in mustering operations. He was pushing a group of bulls some 700 metres from the ground party when they saw the aircraft break away to the West, presumably to chase a breakaway bull. They then heard a dull thud and the noise from the engine of the helicopter stopped suddenly. The helicopter was found some 10 metres from the base of a six metre high dead tree. The pilot was seriously injured in the accident but he was later able to recall that there was, in his opinion, no fault with the aircraft and he had simply flown into the dead tree without seeing it. On site investigation confirmed the tree strike and showed that at the time of the collision, the aircarft was heading in a westerly direction into the low sun and dust . The tree struck by the helicopter was also disguised by another tree behind it. At the time of completing the report, the pilot was still in intensive care and unable to be interviewed.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 01 September 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1730    
Location: 240 km NE Katherine    
State: Northern Territory    
Release date: 14 September 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-PYG  
Serial number 390  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bulman Station NT  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Bulman Station NT