Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wirestrike; St Albans, NSW; Bell Helicopter Co. 206B III, VH-JIV

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 793KB]
General details
Date: 04 April 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1025    
Location   (show map): 7 km south of St Albans    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 14 December 2006   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

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
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 1569 2760
Last update 18 April 2018