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On 4 October 2010, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter R22 Beta, registered VH‑THI, was conducting cattle mustering operations on a station property about 170 km east of Katherine, Northern Territory. During those operations, the helicopter collided with the ground. The pilot, the sole occupant of the helicopter, sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was seriously damaged.

The investigation determined that the collision with terrain was probably a result of engine stoppage while operating at low altitude. The investigation also determined that the helicopter was serviceable prior to the collision with the terrain and that the engine stoppage was probably due to fuel exhaustion.

The nature of mustering operations had the potential to divert the pilot's attention away from other safety-critical tasks, such as monitoring the helicopter's fuel state. The circumstances of the accident highlight the importance of pilots and operators using a system to independently verify the fuel quantity in their aircraft's tanks.

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General details
Date: 04 October 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1030 – 1100 CST (estimated)  
Location   (show map):170 km east of Katherine Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 30 November 2011 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-THI 
Serial number: 864 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Departure point:Mountain Valley Station, NT
Destination:Mountain Valley Station, NT
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2018