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Updated: 15 August 2017

The ATSB has completed the on-site phase of the investigation into the in-flight break-up involving a Robinson R22 helicopter, registered VH-HGU, 7 km north-west of Cloncurry, Queensland on 2 August 2017. That phase included the:

  • examination of the aircraft wreckage
  • recovery of several electronic and navigational devices for further technical examination
  • conduct of a number of interviews.

The initial notification provided to the ATSB indicated that the helicopter had contacted powerlines adjacent to the accident site. However, analysis of the available evidence, including photography of the powerlines utilising a remotely piloted aircraft, did not indicate any contact between the helicopter and powerlines.

The investigation is continuing and will examine the:

  • weather conditions at the time of the flight
  • aircraft maintenance records
  • pilot’s qualifications and experience
  • operator’s processes
  • recovered items.

The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the
Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the accident as outlined in this web update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.


General details
Date: 02 August 2017 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 7:02 EST Investigation phase: Examination and analysis 
Location   (show map):7 km north-west of Cloncurry Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: In-flight break-up 
 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Accident 
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2019 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R22 
Aircraft registration: VH-HGU 
Operator: Cloncurry Mustering Company 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Cloncurry Airport, Qld
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Last update 14 November 2018