Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wirestrike - Bell Helicopter 206B (III), VH-BHU, near Mossman Hospital, Qld, 1 June 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 1 June 2011, a Bell Helicopter 206B (III), registered VH-BHU (BHU), departed Mossman Sports Ground, Queensland for a local area charter flight. The flight was conducted as a weed spotting operation and there was one pilot and three passengers, acting as weed spotters, on board.

The aircraft was operating about 10-15 ft above the tree top level when the pilot initiated a slow left turn and the helicopter struck a dual-line powerline. The pilot was unaware that there was a powerline in the vicinity prior to the collision. The pilot applied control inputs to keep the helicopter level as it descended though the tree canopy.

The helicopter landed in an upright position and the pilot and three passengers were able to exit. The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries, and the other two passengers sustained minor injuries.

As a result of the accident, the helicopter operator conducted a meeting to discuss the factors that led to the accident, and highlight the hazards. They also issued a wire awareness information pack to all current pilots and modified the pilot briefing notifications to specifically highlight hazards when working at low level. The Operations Manual was also being updated to enhance the section on low level reconnaissance and changes were made to the Emergency Response Plan.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[Download  PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 01 June 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1231   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Mossman Hospital    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 12 December 2011   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-BHU  
Serial number 2964  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Departure point Port Douglas, Qld  
Destination near Mossman, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018