Jump to Content
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 306KB]

At about 0822 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 10 October 2010, the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350B Squirrel helicopter, registered VH-ROU, inadvertently entered cloud while operating a visual flight rules charter flight from Parramatta heliport to Bathurst, New South Wales (NSW) with five passengers on board. The pilot became spatially disoriented and exited the base of the cloud just prior to colliding with terrain next to the Oaks Fire Trail, which was about 2 km south of Woodford, in the Blue Mountains region of NSW. Two of the passengers sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital. The helicopter was seriously damaged.

The investigation found that, in the hours prior to, and during the flight, several operational and tactical decisions were made that did not adequately address the risk of visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions. In addition, a minor safety issue was identified in respect of the lack of a requirement for a charter‑specific risk assessment for the flight. The result was that the risks associated with the charter were not adequately addressed. In response, the operator has advised that the operations manual will be amended to require risk assessments in support of all operational flights.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 306KB]

To download, click the link, then right-click and select Save As.

Copyright in material obtained from other agencies, private individuals or organisations, belongs to those agencies, individuals or organisations and should be credited accordingly.


Safety issue

AO-2010-076-SI-01 -  

Organisational Operations Manual and Safety Management Systems

The lack of a requirement for a charter-specific risk assessment in this case meant that the risks associated with the charter were not adequately addressed.

Safety issue details
Issue number:AO-2010-076-SI-01
Who it affects:Charter operators
Status:Adequately addressed

General details
Date: 10 October 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0822 EDT  
Location   (show map):67 km west of Sydney Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: VFR into IMC 
Release date: 01 December 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Aerospatiale Industries 
Aircraft model: AS350 
Aircraft registration: VH-ROU 
Serial number: 1119 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Destination:Bathurst, NSW
Share this page Provide feedback on this investigation
Last update 16 November 2015