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.
|Date:||02 November 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Loss of control|
|Release date:||17 December 2007||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||Serious|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Bell Helicopter Co|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Coffs Harbour, NSW|
|Destination||Palmers Island, NSW|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|