Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bell Helicopter Co 206B, VH-EWH

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The Bell 206 helicopter was being operated on water-bombing tasks in support of fire-fighting east of Armidale, NSW. As the pilot commenced a climb following water pick-up, the `engine outÂ’ audio warning sounded and the master warning annunciator illuminated as the engine failed. The pilot jettisoned the water and Bambi bucket, and conducted an autorotative descent into a cleared area. During the landing the helicopterÂ’s main rotor contacted the tail boom and severed the tail rotor assembly. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The pilot indicated that immediately following the accident, he drained approximately 0.5L of fuel from the helicopter to check for water contamination and fuel boost pump operation.
General details
Date: 01 October 2003   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300 hours EST    
Location   (show map): 40 km E Armidale, (NDB)    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Fuel starvation  
Release date: 12 July 2004   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-EWH  
Serial number 1380  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point East of Armidale, NSW  
Departure time 1120 hours EST  
Destination East of Armidale, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 800.0 5500
Last update 13 May 2014