Aviation safety investigations & reports

Agusta Bell 206B, VH-BHV, 15km North-west of Karratha WA, 19 November 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was tasked to sling load two large metal hooks between two points on a wharf. The first hook was off-loaded, but as the helicopter was lifting the second hook, the tail rotor contacted a solar panel at the top of a light pole. Control of the aircraft was lost and it was observed to perform a nose high turn before striking the water. The helicopter floated inverted and the pilot was able to evacuate himself and swim to a boat. It is considered likely that while concentrating on the position of the load, the pilot diverted his attention from the operation of the helicopter and allowed it to descend, which resulted in the tail rotor strike.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 19 November 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1445    
Location: 15km North-west of Karratha    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 13 January 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-BHV  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point "Dampier Salt" Wharf, Dampier WA  
Departure time 1445  
Destination "Dampier Salt" Wharf, Dampier WA