Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 47 KH4, VH-HFV, Mataranka NT, 18 October 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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During a short ferry flight to a property for the purpose of conducting shooting operations, the pilot noticed a burning smell in the cockpit and a glow beneath the rear seat. Following an emergency landing the pilot evacuated the aircraft before it was consumed by fire. The pilot reports that he had been carrying signal flares, fuel, oil, grease and dirty rags on and beneath the rear seat. He further reports he had been smoking prior to becoming aware of the burning smell. The Fire Officers Investigation report confirms that the fire had originated in the cockpit and that the source of ignition had probably been a lighted cigarette butt which had come to rest on the dirty rags.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 18 October 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1145    
Location   (show map): Mataranka    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Fire  
Release date: 10 April 1991   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries  
Aircraft model 47  
Aircraft registration VH-HFV  
Serial number 2186  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Mataranka NT  
Departure time 1140  
Destination Elsey Station NT