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Summary

Summary

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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