Aviation safety investigations & reports

Technical assistance to New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) - Airbus Helicopters AS350B2, ZK-HYO, involving a Heli-skiing accident at Mt Alta, New Zealand on 16 August 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


On 16 August 2014, an Airbus Helicopters AS350B2 Squirrel, registered ZK-HYO, collided with terrain at Mt Alta in the New Zealand Southern Alps. One of the seven occupants of the helicopter was fatally injured and the aircraft destroyed.

The New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) opened an inquiry into the accident on 16 August 2014 (TAIC investigation AO-2014-005). As part of that investigation TAIC recovered the helicopter’s engine for later technical examination. Subsequently, TAIC arranged for the engine examination to be carried out at the engine manufacturer’s facility in Sydney, New South Wales.

On 21 August 2015, TAIC requested the ATSB to appoint an accredited representative in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation. The ATSB appointed an accredited representative that day with the task of providing independent oversight of the TAIC engine examination.

To facilitate this support, the ATSB initiated an external investigation under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The ATSB forwarded its report of the engine examination to TAIC on 29 October 2015. This completed the ATSB’s support of the TAIC investigation.

TAIC is responsible for, and will administer the release of the final investigation report into this accident. Any enquiries regarding the TAIC investigation should, in the first instance, be directed to the:

Deputy Chief Investigator of Accidents
Transport Accident Investigation Commission
Level 16, AXA Center
80 The Terrace
PO Box 10-323, Wellington
New Zealand

Telephone: +64 4 473 3112
Facsimile: +64 4 499 1510
Email: inquiries@taic.org.nz
Web: www.taic.org.nz


The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

General details
Date: 16 August 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
  Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Mt Alta, New Zealand    
State: International   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 10 November 2015   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft model AS350B2  
Aircraft registration ZK-HYO  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Last update 14 November 2018