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.
The helicopter operator's induction checklist did not include the notation of instructors’ ratings and validity periods.
|Who it affects:||The helicopter operator|
There were no specific training requirements for Robinson helicopters in Australia, such as those in Federal Aviation Administration Special Federal Aviation Regulation 73-2.
|Who it affects:||Robinson R22 pilots|
|Date:||02 July 2009||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1015 EST||Investigation level:||Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Gold Coast Airport|
|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 manufacturer||Robinson Helicopter Co|
|Type of operation||Flying Training|
|Damage to aircraft||Serious|
|Departure point||Gold Coast, Qld|
|Destination||Gold Coast, Qld|