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On 24 July 2007, at 1500 Central Standard Time, a Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, registered VH-VHQ, with the pilot as the sole occupant, departed from a helipad at Maryfield Station, NT, in order to recommence cattle mustering activities. Visitors to the station, who had recently participated in a number of short local flights, were still in the general area of the helipad during the departure.

The pilot reported that, during the initial climb after takeoff, and at a height not above the tops of the surrounding trees, the helicopter was struck by a gust of wind that resulted in height loss and activation of the helicopter's 'low RPM' warning horn. During the recovery manoeuvre by the pilot, one of the visitors was struck in the head by the helicopter's main rotor and fatally injured.

This accident highlighted the hazards associated with conducting helicopter operations in close proximity to people and the need for positive coordination and control of those people at all times.

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Preliminary report released 11 September 2007

On 24 July 2007 at 1500 Central Standard Time, a Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, registered VH VHQ, with the pilot the sole occupant, departed from a helipad at Maryfield Station, NT, in order to recommence cattle mustering activities. Visitors to the station, who had recently been given scenic rides in the helicopter, were still in the general area of the helipad at that time.

During the initial climb after takeoff, and at a height of about the tops of the surrounding trees, the helicopter's 'low RPM' warning horn activated. During the recovery manoeuvre by the pilot, one of the visitors was struck in the head by the helicopter's main rotor and was fatally injured. The pilot immediately landed the helicopter.

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General details
Date: 24 July 2007 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1500 CST  
Location   (show map):Maryfield Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Ground strike 
Release date: 19 December 2008 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-VHQ 
Serial number: 1890 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Maryfield Station, NT
Departure time:1500 CST
Destination:Maryfield Station, NT
 
Injuries
 CrewPassengerGroundTotal
Fatal: 0011
Total:0011
 
 
 
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Last update 14 November 2018