Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Robinson R44, VH-HOU, 93 km S Alice Springs Airport, NT, 10 June 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 681KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 8.65MB]

On 10 June 2012, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Raven 1, registered VH-HOU, was seriously damaged following a reported loss of power and collision with terrain near Maryvale Northern Territory. On board the helicopter were a pilot and three passengers. One passenger was seriously injured as a result of the accident.

The helicopter was to provide support and aerial filming of a competitor participating in the annual Finke Desert race. A definitive reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined. However a review of the carburettor icing chart reveals that the temperature / dew point spread, put the accident flight in the “Serious Icing – Descent Power” operating realm.

The helicopter manufacturer has previously issued a Safety Notice in regard to the use of the carburettor heat assistance system, warning that if used it will reduce carburettor heat on lift off and may require adjustment in flight.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 12

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 681KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 8.65MB]
General details
Date: 10 June 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0931 UTC   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 93 km S Alice Springs Airport (near Maryvale)    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 29 October 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R44  
Aircraft registration VH-HOU  
Serial number 1673  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Finke Desert  
Last update 14 November 2018