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On 4 April 2006 a Bell Helicopter Company 206B III helicopter was being operated on a survey of powerlines in the St Albans area of New South Wales with a pilot, two power supply company personnel and a photographer on board. At about 1000 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot observed a previously unseen single-strand telecommunication cable support wire rubbing against the copilot's door, and attempted to manoeuvre the helicopter clear of the wire. The helicopter lost directional control and commenced spinning to the right. However, the pilot cleared the wires and attempted a landing in an adjacent paddock. The helicopter came to rest on its right side and was severely damaged. One of the power supply company personnel received serious head injuries and the remaining occupants received minor injuries.

Safety action undertaken as a result of this accident included:

  • by the power supply company, who acted to:
    • immediately suspend helicopter inspections
    • appoint an internal accident investigation team that would make recommendations for the recommencement of helicopter operations
    • engage an aviation risk management consultant to assess the hazards affecting the company's aerial surveillance operations and to assist the internal investigation team
    • implement a number of safety actions that were recommended by the internal investigation team.
  • the removal by the telephone company of the single-strand telecommunication cable support wire that was struck by the helicopter.
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General details
Date: 04 April 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1025  
Location   (show map):7 km south of St Albans Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 14 December 2006 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-JIV 
Serial number: 2894 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Lower Portland, NSW
Destination:Lower Portland, NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
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Last update 18 April 2018