Aviation safety investigations & reports

Sikorsky S-70A, A25-221, near Fiji

Investigation number:
200608049
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

On 29 November 2006, an Australian Army Black Hawk helicopter, A25-221, crashed during a training flight. The helicopter was attempting to land on HMAS Kanimbla located in international waters off Fiji. Onboard the helicopter were 10 army personnel - four aircrew and six soldiers. Of those onboard, eight survived and two were fatally injured.

The helicopter sank in deep water and the flight data recorder (FDR) was recovered in March 2007 after a salvage operation. The Australian Department of Defence was responsible for investigating this accident and appointed a Board of Inquiry. The Department of Defence requested ATSB assistance in the recovery of data from the FDR. The Executive Director of the ATSB approved the request. To protect the information supplied by the ATSB to Defence and investigation work undertaken to assist Defence, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The solid-state memory was successfully downloaded and a copy of the data file was provided to a representative from the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety.

Information publicly released by the Board of Inquiry is available on the Department of Defence website: http://www.defence.gov.au

Factual information

On 29 November 2006, an Australian Army Black Hawk helicopter, A25-221, crashed during a training flight. The helicopter was attempting to land on HMAS Kanimbla located in international waters off Fiji. Onboard the helicopter were 10 army personnel - four aircrew and six soldiers. Of those onboard, eight survived and two were fatally injured.

The helicopter sank in deep water and the flight data recorder (FDR) was recovered in March 2007 after a salvage operation. The Australian Department of Defence was responsible for investigating this accident and appointed a Board of Inquiry. The Department of Defence requested ATSB assistance in the recovery of data from the FDR. The Executive Director of the ATSB approved the request. To protect the information supplied by the ATSB to Defence and investigation work undertaken to assist Defence, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The FDR was received at the ATSB laboratories in Canberra on 27 March 2007 and it was disassembled the same day.

The FDR details were:

Manufacturer: L3 Communications
Part Number: S903-2000-01
Serial Number: 00477

The solid-state memory was successfully downloaded and a copy of the data file was provided to a representative from the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety (DDAAFS). No analysis of the data was undertaken by the ATSB.

All the disassembled FDR components were returned to a DDAAFS representative on 12 April 2007.

Information publicly released by the Board of Inquiry is available on the Department of Defence website: http://www.defence.gov.au.

General details
Date: 29 November 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Location: Near Fiji    
State: International   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 19 October 2007   Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Other  
  Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft  
Aircraft model S-70  
Aircraft registration A25-221  
Type of operation Unknown  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Unknown
 
Injuries
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 1 0 2
Total: 1 1 0 2
Last update 04 January 2019