Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft loss of control - Palmers Island, NSW, 2 November 2006, VH-AAL, Bell Helicopter Company 206A

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 2 November 2006, the pilot of a Bell Helicopter Company 206A helicopter, registered VH-AAL,departed Coffs Harbour, NSW, on a private flight to a property located at Palmers Island, near Yamba, NSW. On board the 206A were the pilot and one passenger in the front left seat.

On arrival in the vicinity of Palmers Island, the pilot commenced a downwind turn into a strong quartering tailwind and the helicopter began an uncommanded right yaw. The pilot attempted to regain control, but the helicopter continued to yaw and to descend until it impacted the ground. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries and the helicopter was destroyed.

There was no evidence found of any mechanical or systems failures that may have contributed to the accident. The reported local conditions and nature of the loss of control were consistent with a loss of tail rotor effectiveness (generally referred to as LTE).

While a serviceable emergency locator transmitter was fitted to the helicopter, it had not been 'armed' prior to the flight and did not activate as a result of the impact.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 411KB]
General details
Date: 02 November 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1604 ESuT    
Location   (show map): Palmers Island    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 17 December 2007   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-AAL  
Serial number 606  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Coffs Harbour, NSW  
Departure time 1515  
Destination Palmers Island, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Private 200 2500
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Serious: 1 1 0 2
Total: 1 1 0 2
Last update 18 April 2018