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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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