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On 10 February 2014, at about 1500 Central Standard Time, the pilot of a Robinson R22 helicopter, registered VH-LZR, commenced take-off for a private local flight from a property about 100 km east of Mataranka, Northern Territory.

As the helicopter became airborne heading to the south-east, the pilot sighted an object moving to his right. At about 10 ft above ground level, the pilot was distracted looking outside the door at the object and the helicopter collided with a tree. The helicopter sustained substantial damage and the pilot was uninjured.

This incident shows that distractions can have a significant impact on flight safety.

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 28

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General details
Date: 10 February 2014 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1500 CST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Mataranka Township (ALA), east 100 km (Flying Fox Station) Occurrence type:CFIT 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 27 March 2014 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-LZR 
Serial number: 2629 
Type of operation: Private 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Flying Fox Station, NT
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Last update 25 February 2015