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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


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General details
Date: 06 July 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0900 EST  
Location   (show map):23 km NE Miranda Downs (ALA) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 27 November 2012 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
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
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Last update 18 April 2018