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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  
Location   (show map):near Mossman Hospital Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 12 December 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
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
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Last update 01 March 2016