Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrrain - Aerospatiale helicopter, VH-LAG, Port Keats Airport, Wadeye, NT, 21 July 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 21 July 2011,at 1630 Central Standard Time, the crew of a Super Puma helicopter, registered VH-LAG (LAG), was taxiing in the vicinity of two parked aircraft on the apron at Port Keats Airport, Northern Territory when the main rotor blades contacted a light pole. As the main rotor disintegrated, the helicopter was propelled towards the pole and rolled onto its left side. The aircraft was seriously damaged including significant disruption to the cockpit area.

The two crew members and three of the four passengers sustained minor injuries. Three bystanders also sustained minor injuries and one of the parked aircraft and four parked vehicles were damaged by flying debris.  

As a result of this accident, the helicopter operator conducted an internal investigation that produced a number of recommendations addressing operations to remote airfields, obstacle separation standards and emergency management. 

Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 4.43MB]
General details
Date: 21 July 2011   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1632 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Port Keats Airport, Wadeye    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Taxiing collision/near collision  
Release date: 14 March 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Aerospatiale Industries  
Aircraft model AS332  
Aircraft registration VH-LAG  
Serial number 2352  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Port Keats, NT  
Destination Offshore gas rig, Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, NT  
Last update 14 November 2018