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Before commencing operations from Oobagooma Homestead on a series of flights to be made for the purpose of pegging mineral claims, the pilot briefed all passengers on safety precautions in flight and on the ground. The briefing included instructions for movement near the helicopter while the rotors were in motion and a caution that the area near the tail rotor was to be avoided at all times. After landing a second time at Margaret Beach, the aircraft engine was held at flight idle power while passengers alighted and unloaded equipment. The aircraft was then moved to slightly higher, level ground and again held at flight idle while the pilot and the field assistant in charge of pegging discussed whether to continue pegging or stop for lunch. They decided to continue pegging and the field assistant then walked to an area to the right hand side and to the rear of the aircraft to pick up a box of pegging tapes. While returning to the aircraft and looking down at the box which was held in both hands, he walked around the rear of the helicopter and was struck on the head by the rotating tail rotor, which inflicted severe head injuries. The pilot considered that evacuation by air was unwise in view of possible shock loading having occurred to the helicopter transmission. A member of a picnic party, fortuitously at the beach, conveyed the injured man by boat to Cockatoo Island where a doctor gave medical attention pending the arrival of an aircraft which conveyed the injured passenger to Derby.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 160KB]
General details
Date: 15 November 1970 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1155 WST  
Location:Margaret Beach, near Derby Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia  
Release date: 18 October 1971  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: 206 
Aircraft registration: VH-SJJ 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Oobagooma Homestead
Departure time:1125
Destination:Margaret Beach
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Last update 16 May 2014