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The ATSB is investigating a loss of control involving an Agusta AW139, registered VH-YHF, 39 km ENE from Darwin Airport, Northern Territory, on 13 May 2018.

During search and rescue operations, the helicopter crew commenced a manual deceleration from 800 ft to locate an emergency beacon.  The auto hover switch was engaged at about 600 ft. The crew subsequently detected a nose high attitude and an increasing rate of descent with reducing airspeed. The pilot applied power and forward cyclic, arresting the rate of descent at about 90 ft.

As part of the investigation the ATSB will interview the crew and gather additional information.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 13 May 2018 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 21:00 CST Investigation phase: Evidence collection 
Location   (show map):39 km ENE Darwin Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Loss of control 
 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2019 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Agusta, S.p.A, Construzioni Aeronautiche 
Aircraft model: AW139 
Aircraft registration: VH-YHF 
Serial number: 31108 
Operator: Careflight 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Darwin, NT
Destination:Darwin, NT
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Last update 27 July 2018