Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport, Qld 2 April 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 2 April 2009, a flight instructor and student pilot in a Robinson Helicopter Company R22, registered VH-YDA, were conducting normal circuit and autorotation training at Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport, Qld. At 1400 Eastern Standard Time, the helicopter collided with terrain on the grass at the side of the departure end of runway 11. The helicopter was seriously damaged and the instructor was seriously injured.

After the accident, neither pilot could recall any of the flight sequence immediately before the impact. There were no witnesses to the accident and no relevant recorded data. An examination of the helicopter wreckage indicated that there were no pre-impact defects. Due to a lack of information, the investigation was unable to determine why the helicopter collided with terrain.

The investigation found that the use of safety helmets would reduce the risk of pilot injury during door(s)-off operations.

The investigation also found that the helicopter was about 11 kg overweight on takeoff for the flight.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 718KB]
General details
Date: 02 April 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1415 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Proserpine    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 11 December 2009   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-YDA  
Serial number 4346  
Type of operation Flying Training  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Shute Harnour, Qld  
Destination Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport  
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Minor: 1 0 0 1
Serious: 1 0 0 1
Total: 2 0 0 2
Last update 03 April 2020