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On 25 September 2008, the pilot of a Bell 206L4 helicopter, registered P2-HBC, was conducting sling loading operations in the vicinity of Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea. While conducting a vertical lift, a witness reported hearing a 'different noise' from the helicopter's engine, before observing the pilot jettison the load. The witness then observed the helicopter oscillating from side to side, yawing to the left and then descending through the tree canopy to impact the ground. The pilot was fatally injured and the helicopter seriously damaged.

This accident is being investigated by the Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) in accordance with its obligations under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The AIC requested the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB's) assistance with their investigation by providing forensic engineering examination of a small selection of instruments and some fuel system detritus recovered from the accident helicopter.

The ATSB subsequently received and examined a fuel quantity gauge, turbine outlet temperature (TOT) gauge and an annunciator panel from the helicopter's instrument cluster. Various marks and observations evident on the components were documented and analysed with respect to the possible relevance of those markings to the accident event. In addition, a small sample of dried material from the internal surfaces of the fuel filter check valve that was provided by the AIC was examined and found to be characteristic of the biopolymer films produced by microbial growth.



Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

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[ Download PDF: 1.37MB]
General details
Date: 25 September 2008 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0012 UTC  
Location   (show map):Vicinity of Lake Murray PNG Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 02 March 2010 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft model: 206 L4 
Aircraft registration: P2-HBC 
Serial number: 51396 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Departure point:Douglas Camp
Destination:Douglas Camp
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Last update 14 November 2018