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On 1 September 2013, a Robinson R22 helicopter, registered VH-HVW, departed a stock camp located about 40 NM (70 km) south-west of Lake Nash Station, Northern Territory. Shortly after take-off, the helicopter was observed commencing a steep climbing left turn to depart overhead the camp. As the helicopter turned into a downwind position, the wind appeared to affect the controllability of the aircraft. It appeared that the pilot attempted to respond to the situation, however, there was insufficient altitude to recover. The helicopter contacted the ground and flipped over a number of times before coming to rest. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the helicopter was destroyed.

Wind direction and velocity are important considerations for helicopter pilots. It is crucial that pilots maintain an awareness of the wind and be aware of the consequential effects on helicopter performance. This will assist pilots with responding promptly and appropriately to a situation and preventing a loss of control.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 29

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General details
Date: 01 September 2013 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1600 CST  
Location   (show map):70 km SW of Lake Nash Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 08 April 2014 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-HVW 
Serial number: 3135 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
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Last update 06 June 2014