Aviation safety issues and actions

Hazardous helicopter landing site

Issue number: AO-2011-110-SI-02
Who it affects: All helicopter landing site owners
Issue owner: Helicopter landing site owners
Transport function: Aviation: Other
Background: Investigation Report AO-2011-110
Issue release date: 18 February 2014
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action by the owner of the Shoalwater Bay training area HLSs adequately addresses this safety issue and therefore makes no recommendation.

Safety issue description

The minimal clearance from obstructions, unfavourable surface conditions and a lack of appropriate wind indication at the helicopter landing site (HLS) increased the risk associated with operations to the HLS, particularly for a pilot unfamiliar with the site. 

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2011-110-NSA-071
Action organisation: Department of Defence
Date: 18 February 2014
Action status: Closed

An independent safety audit of all Shoalwater Bay training area HLSs was carried out following the accident. In response to recommendations made in that report, vegetation was cleared at the Double Mountain South HLS to provide obstruction-free approach and departure paths into the prevailing wind, a wind indicator in the form of windsock was installed and a steel deck was constructed to provide a level landing surface that was clear of rocks and tree stumps. Similar work was carried out at other HLSs and one HLS was relocated to a more favourable location. 

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action by the owner of the Shoalwater Bay training area HLSs adequately addresses this safety issue and therefore makes no recommendation.

Last update 04 August 2014