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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 
Location   (show map):Bismarck Sea, 50 km SE of Manus Island, PNG Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Ditching 
Release date: 05 December 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
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 
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Last update 23 January 2017