Aviation safety investigations & reports

Aircraft instrument and fuel system detritus examination Bell 206 L4, P2-HBC, collision with terrain in the vicinity of Lake Murray PNG, 25 September 2008

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.37MB]
General details
Date: 25 September 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0012 UTC   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Vicinity of Lake Murray PNG    
State: International   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 02 March 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

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  
Last update 14 November 2018