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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. 

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[ Download PDF: 4.43MB]
General details
Date: 21 July 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1632 CST  
Location   (show map):Port Keats Airport, Wadeye Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Taxiing collision/near collision 
Release date: 14 March 2012 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
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
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Last update 20 September 2016