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At approximately 4pm local time on 2 April 2005, Sea King helicopter N16-100 (callsign 'Shark 02'), crashed on the Indonesian island of Nias while on a humanitarian support mission.

Nine Australian Defence Force personnel were fatally injured in the accident. An investigation was conducted by the Department of Defence Aircraft Accident Investigation Team (AAIT) and a Board of Inquiry was appointed on 28 April 2005.

The Sea King helicopter was equipped with a deploy-able Beacon Airfoil Unit that recorded four channels of information:

  • Pilot audio
  • Co-pilot audio
  • Cockpit area microphone audio
  • Rotor speed encoder data

The AAIT requested assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the analysis of the audio recovered from the BAU. In accordance with the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, the Executive Director of the ATSB approved the request.

A compact disk containing the recovered audio (Department of Defence Evidence Register Item No. 031) was delivered to the ATSB on 21 April 2005.

The audio was replayed and analysed in the ATSB's audio laboratory by a flight recorder specialist. Verbal advice was provided to the AAIT. Audio analysis was also performed separately by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). The AAIT did not request a written report from the ATSB as DSTO would be providing a report.

Details of the investigation and Board of Inquiry evidence can be found on the Department of Defence website: www.defence.gov.au/Publications/BOI/SeaKing/

General details
Date: 02 April 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1600  
Location   (show map):Nias Island, Indonesia Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other 
Release date: 26 June 2006 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Technical Analysis 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
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Last update 16 February 2016