On 24 April 2011, at about 1816 Eastern Standard Time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, registered VH-RUR, with a pilot and one passenger on board, collided with the sea off the northern headland of Lilli Pilli Bay, New South Wales.
The helicopter was being flown after last light and was on approach to a helicopter landing site when the accident occurred. The pilot was not approved, nor was the helicopter equipped, to fly at night.
The occupants escaped from the helicopter after the impact with the water. A witness to the accident assisted the pilot onto nearby rocks but the passenger was fatally injured.
The investigation did not identify any organisational or systemic issues that might adversely affect the future safety of aviation operations. However, the accident does provide a timely reminder of the importance of appropriate flight planning and informed in-flight decision making.