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On 2 July 2009, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter Company R22 Beta II, registered VH-OML, was conducting solo circuit training from the Gold Coast Aerodrome, Queensland. Weather conditions in the area at the time were fine, with light and variable winds.

At about 1015 Eastern Standard Time, the helicopter impacted terrain near the southern aerodrome boundary. The pilot was fatally injured and the helicopter seriously damaged.

There was no evidence of a pre-existing mechanical problem with the helicopter. The pilot had extensive previous experience in aeroplanes and the flight was his sixth solo helicopter flight towards his Private Pilot (Helicopter) Licence. The investigation found that the accident may have been a function of the pilot's control inputs.

As a result of this investigation, the helicopter operator has made a number of changes to their induction process, including the annotation in company records of instructors' ratings and their respective validity periods. In addition, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has advised that it will review the requirements for initial pilot training and endorsement and recurrent training on Robinson R22 helicopters. Included will be a review of the Helicopter Flight Instructor's Manual to ensure that the required competencies are being covered by flight instructors and trained to students.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has issued a Safety Advisory Notice suggesting that operators consider action to ensure the validity of pilots' qualifications and ratings, and that competency standards are met.

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Safety issues

AO-2009-032-SI-01 - AO-2009-032-SI-02 -  

Instructor induction process

The helicopter operator's induction checklist did not include the notation of instructors’ ratings and validity periods.

Safety issue details
Issue number:AO-2009-032-SI-01
Who it affects:The helicopter operator
Status:Adequately addressed


Robinson training requirements

There were no specific training requirements for Robinson helicopters in Australia, such as those in Federal Aviation Administration Special Federal Aviation Regulation 73-2.

Safety issue details
Issue number:AO-2009-032-SI-02
Who it affects:Robinson R22 pilots
Status:Adequately addressed

General details
Date: 02 July 2009 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1015 EST  
Location   (show map):Gold Coast Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 28 July 2010 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-OML 
Serial number: 4312 
Type of operation: Flying Training 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Departure point:Gold Coast, Qld
Destination:Gold Coast, Qld

Safety Advisory Notice

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Last update 14 November 2018