Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain - Robinson R22, VH-STK, 23 km NE Miranda Downs (ALA), Qld, 6 July 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At 0840 Eastern Standard Time on 6 July 2012, during mustering operations near Miranda Downs aeroplane landing area, Queensland, the right skid of a Robinson R22 Beta, registered VH-STK (STK), struck a tree and the helicopter collided with terrain. The pilot, the only occupant, was seriously injured and the helicopter sustained substantial damage.

The operator conducted an investigation into the accident and, using Global Positioning System (GPS) data, determined that STK had climbed to about 2,500 ft above sea level before commencing a left spiral descent. Bureau of Meteorology data, obtained by the operator, indicated that the temperature was 14.7° C and the dew point 1.3° C. The operator determined that the combination of temperature and dew point would indicate a moderate carburettor icing risk at cruise power and a serious icing risk at descent power.

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that they have reminded their pilots of documentation in relation to carburettor icing and auto-rotations.

Pilots are reminded to maintain awareness of the weather conditions that are conducive to carburettor ice formation and closely monitor aircraft performance during times when the risk exists.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 13


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 183KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 435KB]


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General details
Date: 06 July 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0900 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 23 km NE Miranda Downs (ALA)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 27 November 2012   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22  
Aircraft registration VH-STK  
Serial number 4525  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Miranda Downs, Qld  
Destination Miranda Downs, Qld  
Last update 14 November 2018