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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 
Location   (show map):Mt Alta, New Zealand Investigation type: External Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 10 November 2015 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Technical Analysis 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft model: AS350B2 
Aircraft registration: ZK-HYO 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
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Last update 23 December 2016