Aviation occurrence briefs

Objects falling from aircraft involving Aerospatiale Industries AS.350BA, Gold Coast, Qld, on 1 February 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 1 February 2018, the helicopter was operating a charter flight with one pilot and five passengers from Gold Coast Airport, Queensland (Qld).

At approximately 1300 Eastern Standard Time (EST), the pilot conducted visual checks of the seatbelts and doors and the helicopter commenced its take-off, climbing to 500 ft. As the helicopter turned onto crosswind, the pilot detected a popping noise and turned around to see the main door was open. The pilot then slowed the helicopter to 80 knots and conducted a return to Gold Coast, Qld.

Post-flight, the passengers were disembarked and the helicopter was inspected. The inspection revealed that the rear door window was missing and the door was unable to be closed. It is suspected that the door was not correctly secured prior to the flight.

Safety message

It is important for flight crew and ground staff to ensure the security of doors during pre-flight checks. The risks of a door opening in-flight can result in pilot distraction, damage to the aircraft and objects falling from the aircraft.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.

General details
Date: 01 February 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300 EST    
Location   (show map): Gold Coast Airport    
State: Queensland    
Release Date: 28 March 2018   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Aerospatiale Industries  
Aircraft model AS.350BA  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Last update 04 June 2018