Aviation safety investigations & reports

Robinson Helicopter Co R22 BETA, VH-HTZ

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The pilot landed the Robinson R22 helicopter at a cattle yard during mustering operations to talk to the head stockman about some operational matters. The helicopter was on the ground, with the rotors being driven at ground idle, without the pilot at the controls. After the discussion the pilot walked back to the helicopter with a stockman to recommence mustering operations. The pilot assumed that the stockman was following him to the front of the helicopter, but the stockman walked into the tail rotor and sustained injuries to his right arm. The helicopter was not damaged as a result of the tail rotor strike.

The pilot reported that, on this occasion, he did not brief the stockman about the hazardous areas around the helicopter, or the procedures for boarding the helicopter. The stockman reported that he had been briefed on several previous occasions about safety around helicopters. The pilot held a copy of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's helicopter safety brochure on "Safety Around Mustering Helicopters" and "Passenger Briefing".

The mustering operation was a private operation. The Station Manager reported that there were no formal, documented standard operating procedures for loading and unloading passengers, briefing passengers on the hazardous areas around helicopters, or a pilot familiarisation program to reinforce standard industry ground safety practices. As a result of the occurrence, the Station Manager has elected to develop and introduce standard operating procedures related to passenger briefing and control around helicopters.

As part of the regulatory reform process, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has produced a draft Advisory Circular AC 91-240 (0), which discusses the hazards from ground running of propulsion engines, propellers and rotors. The proposed Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) 91.245 prescribes safety procedures that must be followed by the pilot of a single-pilot helicopter who has to leave the control seat to conduct an approved fuelling operation, or to check/secure loadings. The 'proposed new CASR Part 91 is expected to be made by December 2003'.

General details
Date: 19 July 2002   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1230 hours WST    
Location   (show map): Gogo Station, Condamine Yards    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 28 October 2002   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-HTZ  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Gogo Station, WA  
Destination Gogo Station, WA  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 448 680
Last update 13 May 2014