Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, VH-HSW, Cunnamulla Airport, SW 90Km Qld., 12 July 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report - Bulletin
[Download  PDF: 5.43MB]

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   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Cunnamulla Airport, SW 90 km    
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 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  
Last update 14 November 2018