Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell Helicopter 206A, VH-FOY, Heron Island, Qld, 22 January 1972

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 210KB]
At approximately 0045 hours on 22 January, 1972 a Bell 206A helicopter registered VH-FOY crashed into the sea approximately 2700 feet south-east of Heron Island.

It is probable the pilot's past experience in air-sea rescue operations; tlte recent boating fatality in local waters and concern for the safety of other persons were significant factors which motivated the pilot in his decision to undertake the flight. He was placed in an unenviable situation but it was a most hazardous operation and should not have been attempted. In circumstances of virtually no night or instrument flying practice for five years, total darkness depriving him of visual reference and his ability impaired by alcohol, the pilot, irrespective of any altimeter setting error, would not have been able to maintain safe flight on instruments alone whilst conducting a low level search over the sea.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 210KB]
General details
Date: 22 January 1972   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0045 ESuT    
Location: Heron Island    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 27 February 1973   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-FOY  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Heron Island  
Destination Heron Island  
Last update 13 May 2014