Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving AS350 VH-SZS, 66km east of Woomera, South Australia, on 20 March 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating the collision with terrain involving Eurocopter AS350 VH-SZS, which occurred 66km east of Woomera, South Australia, on 20 March 2019.

During powerline stringing operations, the helicopter came into contact with a tower and subsequently collided with terrain. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the pilot was fatally injured.

The ATSB deployed a team of five transport safety investigators to the accident site.

A final report will be released at the end of the investigation.

Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue.

General details
Date: 20 March 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 10:48 CSuT   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Carrapateena Mine, 66km east of Woomera   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Eurocopter  
Aircraft model AS 350 B3  
Aircraft registration VH-SZS  
Serial number 7421  
Operator Aeropower Pty Ltd  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Last update 21 March 2019