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Updated: 11 December 2017

The investigation is continuing and investigators have now received feedback from:

  • the helicopter manufacturer concerning the nature of the damage
  • the Bureau of Metorology concerning the weather forecast.

Completion of the draft report is subject to further analysis of the nature and mechanism of the break-up of the helicopter. On completion of the draft report and internal review, the report will be sent to directly involved parties for comment before the report is finalised and published.



The ATSB is investigating the collision with terrain involving a Robinson R44 helicopter, registered VH-ZNZ and with two persons on board, 41 km north-west of Mossman, Queensland, on 18 November 2016. The pilot was seriously injured and transported to hospital and the passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was destroyed by the impact forces and post-impact fire.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will:

  • collect and review aircraft and pilot documentation, including maintenance records
  • review the operation and flight
  • review the weather conditions affecting the flight
  • when appropriate, interview the pilot and any witnesses.

Witnesses are asked to call the ATSB on 1800 020 616.

General details
Date: 18 November 2016 Investigation status: Active 
Time: 12:44 EST Investigation phase: Final report: External review 
Location   (show map):Mount Windsor, 41 km NW Mossman  Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: In-flight break-up 
Report status: Pending Occurrence category: Accident 
Anticipated completion: 1st Quarter 2019 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter Co 
Aircraft model: R44 II 
Aircraft registration: VH-ZNZ 
Serial number: 11954 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Helicopter 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Mossman, Qld
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Last update 17 October 2018