Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fuel-related event, 16 km south-east of Townsville Airport, Qld., 9 April 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 618KB]

On 9 April 2008, the crew of a McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company MD369ER helicopter registered VH-PLU, experienced a substantial loss of engine power while conducting low-level powerline stringing operations. The helicopter impacted the ground and was seriously damaged. The two occupants were seriously injured.

The investigation determined that the pilot in command was operating the helicopter with a fuel tank quantity that did not guarantee continuous operation of the engine at the flight attitudes experienced during the powerline stringing operation.

As a result of the accident, the operator revised its fuel management procedures for powerline stringing operations.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 618KB]
General details
Date: 09 April 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1000 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Townsville    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Fuel starvation  
Release date: 29 June 2009   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp.  
Aircraft model 500  
Aircraft registration VH-PLU  
Serial number 0384E  
Type of operation Charter  
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Serious: 1 1 0 2
Total: 1 1 0 2
Last update 03 April 2020