On 31 October, at approximately 1152 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, the pilot of a Bell 206 B3 helicopter, registered VH-KTR, was undertaking aerial feral animal culling operations with a feral animal shooter onboard. The pilot was lining the helicopter up for the shooter, when the engine power suddenly reduced to near idle. The shooter was able to throw his rifle out of the helicopter and brace for impact, in accordance with the Feral Animal Aerial Shooting Training (FAAST) procedures.
The helicopter descended into trees and came to rest supported by trees on the side of a steep hill. The occupants reported that the engine was still running after the helicopter came to rest, however, only at about idle power. The pilot then shut the engine down via the throttle. The pilot sustained facial and eye injuries while the shooter had minor injuries.
Examination and testing of the engine and components, and the fuel system was unable to determine what led to the sudden loss in power.
By following FAAST procedures, it is likely that the shooter reduced the danger to the pilot and to himself.
|Date:||31 October 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Engine failure or malfunction|
|Release date:||17 January 2008||Occurrence class:||Technical|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Bell Helicopter Co|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|