Aviation safety investigations & reports

Midair collision - 15 km SE Springvale Station, WA, 5 May 2009, VH-PHT, Robinson Helicopter Company R22 Beta II, VH-HCB, Robinson Helicopter Company R22 Beta II

Investigation number:
AO-2009-018
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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[Download  PDF: 1.27MB]
 

On 5 May 2009, two Robinson Helicopter Company R22 Beta II helicopters, registered VH-PHT and VH-HCB collided midair about 15 km south-east of Springvale Station, WA. Both helicopters had departed the station just prior to sunrise that morning to conduct mustering operations.

The first helicopter was observed departing to the east in order to make radio contact with an adjoining station prior to heading for the mustering area. The other helicopter departed about 10 minutes later and was observed heading to the south-east, the general direction to the area that was to be mustered.

The helicopters were due to refuel at about 0830 at a place to be arranged, depending on the progress of the mustering operation. When the pilots failed to respond to radio calls from ground personnel, a pilot from a nearby station was tasked to conduct a search by helicopter. The helicopters were subsequently located about 15km to the south-east of Springvale Station and about 2km north of the planned mustering area.

The circumstances of the accident were consistent with a midair collision while the pilots were positioning to commence the muster. The converging flight paths of the helicopters, pilot fatigue and sun glare from the rising sun are identified as contributing safety factors.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.27MB]
 
 
 
General details
Date: 05 May 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0545 WST   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 15 km SE Springvale Station    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Airborne collision  
Release date: 17 February 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft 1 details

Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-HCB  
Serial number 3440  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Springvale Station  
Destination Springvale Station  

Aircraft 2 details

Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-PHT  
Serial number 3302  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Springvale Station  
Destination Springvale Station  
 
Injuries
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 2 0 0 2
Total: 2 0 0 2
Last update 14 November 2018