Summary

Summary

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.