Aviation safety investigations & reports

Operational Event 120 km south-west of Cooktown, Qld 22 July 2007, VH-ESB, Bell 412 Helicopter

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 22 July 2007, the crew of a Bell 412 helicopter was conducting a night approach as part of a search for the source of transmissions from an emergency locator beacon. During the approach to a landing site, the pilot of the helicopter lost situational awareness and allowed the forward speed of the helicopter to decrease to zero. The helicopter developed a high rate of descent and, during an attempt to arrest the rate of descent, the helicopter was subjected to an over-torque condition. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau did not conduct an onsite investigation into the occurrence. However, the operator's internal investigation identified a number of safety issues. Following the investigation, the operator took safety actions to address the identified issues.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 130KB]
General details
Date: 22 July 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0441 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Near Palmer River HLS    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Unstable approach  
Release date: 30 March 2009   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 412  
Aircraft registration VH-ESB  
Serial number 36087  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Cairns, Qld  
Departure time 0339  
Destination Palmer River HLS  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 1380 7300
Last update 03 April 2020