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The pilot was assisting in flood rescue operations and was directed to a homestead where several people had climbed onto its roof to escape from the fast flowing flood waters, which had risen to the height of the roof line. He approached the homestead at a height of about 2m above the water level, then hovered the helicopter along side the roof to allow an elderly person to board. This person had had a safety rope attached to him to prevent him from slipping off the steeply pitched roof. As he climbed onto the skids his weight moved the helicopter slightly sideways and the rope snagged on the roof causing the helicopter to descend. The pilot was unable to arrest the downward movement in the height available before the helicopter struck the water and sank. All occupants escaped, the pilot recovered the ELT and activated it.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 16KB]
General details
Date: 07 February 1997 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 15:00 CSuT  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Ditching 
Release date: 28 February 1997  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 47G-5 
Aircraft registration: VH-JGF 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Tikalina Station SA
Destination:Wiawera Station SA
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Last update 28 October 2014