Update 12 November 2012 - Preliminary factual report release

On 3 October 2012, the ATSB commenced an investigation into an accident involving a Robinson R22 Beta helicopter, registered VH-LLF, which collided with terrain 130 km west of Halls Creek, Western Australia.

The ATSB has released its preliminary factual report  into the collision. The information contained in the report is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that may alter the circumstances as depicted in the preliminary report. As such, no analysis or findings are included in the report.

In the late afternoon on 3 October 2012, the pilot of a Robinson R22 Beta collided with terrain in a gorge on the Gliddon River (near the Margaret River).

The tail of the helicopter collided with an overhanging rock formation and a section of the tail boom separated from the fuselage. The helicopter rolled to the left and descended out of view of witnesses. The helicopter was found submerged on its right side with substantial damage. The pilot was deceased.

The ATSB attended the accident site, but was unable to closely examine the submerged wreckage. From the surface it was evident that the cabin roof was crushed in, both main rotor blades had severed a short distance from the main rotor hub, and one of the fuel tanks had detached from the aircraft structure.

The investigation is continuing and will include analysis of the available information to identify safety factors.

It is anticipated that the investigation will be completed by April 2013.

Read the preliminary factual report