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On 12 July 2011, a Robinson Helicopter R22 BETA II, registered VH-HSW, departed the rural property "Tinnenburra", about 90km SW of Cunnamulla, Queensland, for a local cattle mustering flight.

The take-off was delayed due to another operational matter and the pilot reported feeling distracted and under time pressure to commence the flight.

Shortly after commencing mustering, the pilot initiated a descent to move the cattle away from a fence line. Following the descent, and while focusing on the cattle, the pilot noticed a powerline near the helicopter skid, but was unable to avoid the wire. After colliding with the powerline, the pilot could not maintain control of the helicopter and it impacted the terrain.

The pilot sustained serious injuries and the helicopter was seriously damaged.

The aircraft operator has previously looked into a wire alerting system using the onboard GPS. They are continuing to examine ways in which this technology could be incorporated into their operation.

Download Final Report - Bulletin
[ Download PDF: 5.43MB]
General details
Date: 12 July 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1010 EST  
Location   (show map):Cunnamulla Airport, SW 90 km 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: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-HSW 
Serial number: 3298 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Serious 
Departure point:Tinnenburra Station, Qld
Destination:Tinnenburra Station, Qld
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Last update 01 March 2016