Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with obstacle - Aerospatiale helicopter, VH-RTV, 8 km north-east of Ballera, Qld, 30 April 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 1410 EST, on 30 April 2011, the crew of an Aerospatiale AS350FX2 helicopter registered VH-RTV (RTV) was replenishing gas well-head inhibitor tanks using sling load operations from Ballera Airport, Queensland. During one such operation to a well-head that was surrounded by water, the tail rotor blades struck two pipes that extended above the other pipe-work. At the time, the pilot was descending the helicopter prior to releasing the sling. Both he and the crewman were focusing on maintaining clearance from other parts of the well-head and neither saw the two pipes that the tail rotor struck.

Immediately following the occurrence, the operator introduced procedures which specifically addressed inhibitor tank replenishment to supplement the external and sling load procedures which were already in place.

Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 4.28MB]
General details
Date: 30 April 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 17:21 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 8 km north-east of Ballera    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 12 September 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Aerospatiale Industries  
Aircraft model AS350  
Aircraft registration VH-RTV  
Serial number 1290  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Last update 14 November 2018