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On 28 July 2015 a Cicaré CH-7Bt, registered VH-JEW, collided with terrain near Roy Hill Station in Western Australia. The pilot and sole occupant was fatally injured as a result of the accident.

The ATSB examined the helicopter wreckage and identified that the stabiliser had separated in-flight from the tail boom as a result of fatigue cracking of the stabiliser mount (Figure 1).

This was the second fatal accident involving in-flight stabiliser separation on Cicaré CH-7B series helicopters (AO-2014-086). The ATSB has notified the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and is working with the helicopter manufacturer on this issue.

On 6 August 2015 an information letter was emailed to registered Cicaré CH-7B owners, informing them of the second accident, the mechanism of stabiliser failure and a recommendation to ensure the integrity of the stabiliser prior to further operation and on an ongoing basis. The content of the letter is available on the ATSB website.

The investigation is continuing and will seek to identify the factors contributing to the stabiliser support cracking.

Figure 1: The tail section from VH-JEW showing the stabiliser mount fracture Fractured Stabaliser Mount VH-JEW

Source: ATSB


The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the accident as outlined in this web update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.

General details
Date: 28 July 2015 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 15:50 WST Investigation phase: Examination and analysis 
Location   (show map):16 km NW Roy Hill Station Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Accident 
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2019 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Amateur Built Aircraft 
Aircraft model: CICARE CH-7Bt 
Aircraft registration: VH-JEW 
Serial number: 032 
Type of operation: Unknown 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Indee Station, WA
Destination:Roy Hill Station, WA
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Last update 14 November 2018