Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Bell 206B helicopter, VH-FHW, south-west of Jabiru, Northern Territory, on 21 May 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


Update: 21 May 2020

The investigation into the collision with terrain involving Bell 206B helicopter, VH-FHW, south-west of Jabiru, Northern Territory, on 21 May 2019 is continuing.

The investigation is nearing the end of the ‘Examination and analysis’ phase. During this phase, evidence is reviewed and evaluated to determine its relevance, validity, credibility and relationship to other evidence and to the occurrence.

ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed numerous information sources including:

  • Aircraft maintenance details
  • Interviews with involved parties
  • Elements of cabin safety
  • Elements of task design

Refer to the General details table below for the anticipated completion date.



Initial summary

The ATSB is investigating a collision with terrain involving a Bell 206 helicopter, registration VH-FHW, south-west of Jabiru, Northern Territory on 21 May 2019.

During aerial work, the crew conducted a forced landing. The helicopter subsequently collided with terrain resulting in substantial damage and serious injury to one occupant and minor injuries to the other two occupants.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the crew and obtain other relevant evidence and information.

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

General details
Date: 21 May 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 10:30 CST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 107 km south-west of Jabiru   Investigation phase: Examination and analysis  
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Unknown  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206B  
Aircraft registration VH-FHW  
Serial number 2838  
Operator Jayrow Helicopters  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Unknown  
Last update 19 May 2020