Investigation number
200300011
Occurrence date
Location
Bendora Dam
State
Australian Capital Territory
Report release date
Report status
Final
Investigation type
Occurrence Investigation
Investigation status
Completed
Aviation occurrence type
Collision with terrain
Occurrence category
Accident
Highest injury level
Serious

Local safety action

The operator has amended the company's operations manual to
correctly reflect the types of fire buckets used on the company's
individual helicopter types.

The operator has standardised the position of the external load
jettison switch on the different helicopter types used by the
company in fire fighting operations.

The company's operations manual now details the type of safety
clothing to be worn by pilots when engaged in water-bombing
operations in company helicopters. The clothing specified includes
the wearing of cotton or better, flying suits, approved helmets and
comfortable fitting life jackets. Inflatable life jackets have been
positioned in each helicopter for that purpose.

The operator has introduced a system for tracking the fitment
and maintenance history of cargo hooks fitted to company
helicopters.

ATSB safety action

In a briefing to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the ATSB
drew attention to the fact that the occurrence bucket was not of
standard manufacture, and highlighted the possible effects of the
use of non-standard buckets by helicopters during fire fighting
operations.

As a result of this occurrence, the Australian Transport Safety
Bureau issues the following safety recommendations:

Recommendation R20030219

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil
Aviation Safety Authority, in conjunction with the relevant
industry associations, highlight the safety benefits to helicopter
pilots and crew of the wearing of personal protective equipment,
such as helmets and personal flotation devices when carrying out
water-bombing in support of fire fighting operations, through
safety promotion initiatives.

Recommendation R20030220

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil
Aviation Safety Authority, in conjunction with the relevant
industry associations, assess the desirability of a requirement for
Helicopter Underwater Escape Training for specialist aerial work
operations, such as water-bombing in support of fire fighting
operations.

Recommendation R20030221

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil
Aviation Safety Authority, in conjunction with the relevant
industry associations, consider advising Australian helicopter
operators involved in water-bombing in support of fire fighting
operations, of the need to review the type of fire-buckets used to
ensure that they comply with the bucket manufacturer's guidance for
use on helicopter types and to ensure that the fire-buckets are
appropriately maintained.

 

1 Issue
Date: January 2003.


2 Issue
Date: May 2002.

Related Documents: | Media
Alert
|

Aircraft Details
Departure point
Canberra, ACT
Destination
Canberra, ACT
Model
206
Serial number
3075
Sector
Helicopter
Registration
VH-AZH
Operation type
Aerial Work
Damage
Substantial
Manufacturer
Bell Helicopter Co
Departure time
1204 hours ESuT
Crew Details
Class of Licence
Hours on Type
2916
Hours Total
6487