Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Robinson R22 helicopter, VH-HHQ, near Kutchera Station, Queensland on 22 June 2019

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress
Phase: Final report: Internal review Read more information on this investigation phase


Update: 23 June 2020

The investigation into the collision with terrain involving a Robinson R22 helicopter, VH-HHQ, near Kutchera Station, Queensland, on 22 June 2019 is continuing.

The investigation report is currently in the ‘Final report: Internal review’ phase. Final ATSB investigation reports undergo a rigorous internal review process to ensure the report adequately and accurately reflects the evidence collected, analysis, and agreed findings of the Safety Factor Review. Final investigation reports also undergo other technical and administrative reviews to ensure the reports meet national and international standards for transport safety investigations.

If a review identifies any issues with a report, such as information that needs to be expanded or findings that need to be modified, investigators will look to collect new evidence or conduct additional examination and analysis of existing evidence.

ATSB investigators have so far gathered and analysed information from multiple sources, including:

  • the fractured tail rotor pedal
  • maintenance records
  • interviews with directly involved parties.

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



Initial summary

The ATSB is investigating a collision with terrain involving a Robinson R22 helicopter, VH-HHQ, near Kutchera Station, Queensland, on 22 June 2019.

During aerial mustering operations, it was reported that the right anti-torque pedal fractured, leading to a loss of control and subsequent collision with terrain. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the pilot was uninjured.

As part of the investigation the ATSB will interview involved parties and witnesses, examine the fractured pedal, and gather additional information.

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: 22 June 2019   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 9:00 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): near Abingdon Downs (ALA), (Kutchera Station)   Investigation phase: Final report: Internal review  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2020    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22 BETA  
Aircraft registration VH-HHQ  
Serial number 4071  
Operator Sunrise Helicopters  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Kutchera Station, Qld  
Destination Kutchera Station, Qld  
Last update 29 June 2020