Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical assistance to PNG Accident Investigation Commission - Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, P2-PHL, Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea, 13 February 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The ATSB has completed its examination and analysis of the damaged tailrotor blade from the helicopter that went missing near Manus Island, Papua New Guinea on 13 February 2011.

On 13 February 2011, a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, registered P2-PHL, was reported missing during operations over the Bismarck Sea, near Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the helicopter, is also missing. A small amount of wreckage from the helicopter, including the damaged tailrotor blade, was recovered from the sea during search operations.

The Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) of Papua New Guinea is responsible for investigating this occurrence. As part of its investigation, the AIC requested assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the examination and analysis of the damaged tailrotor blade. In accordance with clause 5.23 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the ATSB appointed an accredited representative to assist the AIC and initiated an investigation under the Australian Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The ATSB provided a technical report to the AIC on the results of its examination of the tailrotor blade.

The AIC of Papua New Guinea is responsible for releasing the final investigation report on this occurrence.

Contact details for the PNG AIC are:

Mr David Inau
Chief Executive Officer
Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission
Telephone: +675 311 2406




Released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.


General details
Date: 13 February 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
  Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Bismarck Sea, 50 km SE of Manus Island, PNG    
State: International   Occurrence type: Ditching  
Release date: 05 December 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Eurocopter  
Aircraft model AS350  
Aircraft registration P2-PHL  
Serial number 2923  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Last update 03 April 2020