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Preliminary Report Released 8 February 2010

On 9 December 2009, the pilot of a Bell Helicopter Co. 206L-1 LongRanger, registered VH-MJO, was conducting a visual flight rules (VFR) flight at Dorrigo NSW, with one passenger on board. Shortly after takeoff, he encountered reduced visibility conditions due to low cloud. Subsequently, all visual reference with the horizon and the ground was lost. The pilot attempted to conduct a landing but the helicopter impacted the ground with a significant vertical force. As a result, the pilot was seriously injured and the passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was seriously damaged.

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