Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell 206B, VH-PHA, Gayndah QLD, 14 July 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The helicopter was heading in a westerly direction following takeoff from the pilot's property. The track was to take the aircraft directly over Mount Gayndah so the pilot decided to track to the south of the mountain to provide better terrain clearance. When the helicopter was abeam the mountain, at about 500 feet above ground level, it struck two power lines suspended between a pole on top of the mountain and a pole 1100 metres to the south in the foothills. The pilot was unaware the aircraft had struck the wires, but immediately lowered the collective and turned the aircraft towards the only available cleared area. Approaching the area it became obvious to the pilot that the aircraft would not clear trees on the approach path and he increased the collective. The helicopter cleared the trees and turned right through 180 degrees before touching down in a level attitude while travelling rearward. The landing skids collapsed and the aircraft slewed to the right before coming to rest. The two 90 tonne breaking strain wires had been broken when they were struck by the main rotor blades of the helicopter. The wires then severed the tail rotor drive shaft, a substantial portion of one tail rotor blade and almost severed the tail boom just in front of the vertical stabilisers.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 14 July 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 820    
Location: Gayndah    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 05 August 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-PHA  
Serial number 1454  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Gayndah QLD  
Departure time 0820  
Destination Cracow QLD