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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.

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General details
Date: 02 November 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1604 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Palmers Island Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
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 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
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Serious: 1102
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Last update 18 April 2018