Aviation safety investigations & reports

RAN Sea King Accident N16-100 'Shark 02' Nias Island Indonesia

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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    
State: International   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 26 June 2006   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Last update 16 February 2016