Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell Helicopter Co 206L-3, VH-CKP, Tartrus Station, Qld

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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In preparing the aircraft for the next flight, the pilot turned on the valve for the medical oxygen system. Witnesses then heard a loud bang and gas escaping as the pilot was thrown clear of the aircraft, which caught fire and burned. The pilot received significant ear and chest injuries in the blast.

The Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority:
(i) conduct an audit of all emergency medical service oxygen-equipped aircraft to determine the equipment standards in Australian registered aircraft;
(ii) issue design standards for emergency medical service oxygen equipment installations;
(iii) issue maintenance requirements for emergency medical service oxygen equipment;
(iv) provide surveillance requirements for emergency medical service oxygen equipment in the Aviation Safety Surveillance Program;
(v) ensure flight crew are provided with appropriate instructions in the use of emergency medical service oxygen equipment in aircraft flight manuals or company operations manuals; and
(vi) provide educational material to the aviation industry on the installation, operation and maintenance requirements of emergency medical service oxygen systems.'


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 702KB]
General details
Date: 02 May 1997   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1230 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Tartrus, (ALA)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Fire  
Release date: 08 September 1998   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-CKP  
Serial number 51373  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Tartrus Station, QLD  
Destination Rockhampton, QLD  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 325.4 2540
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Serious: 1 0 0 1
Total: 1 0 0 1
Last update 13 May 2014