On the morning of 22 December 2020, the pilot of a Robinson R44 was conducting aerial agricultural spray operations on a property 13 km south-east of Clare Valley Aerodrome, South Australia. After completing the first spray run, the pilot was preparing to land the helicopter adjacent a loading vehicle for replenishment of chemical product when a loud bang emanated from the rear of the helicopter. The pilot reported experiencing significant resistance from the flight controls as the helicopter rapidly descended. The helicopter collided heavily with the loading vehicle, coming to rest on its side after the impact. The pilot and reloader were uninjured. The helicopter was substantially damaged.
The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include an examination of the helicopter and maintenance records, and interviews with the pilot and any witnesses to the accident.
The investigation is continuing, with a final report released at the conclusion of the investigation.
|Date:||22 December 2020||Investigation status:||Active|
|Time:||10:30 CSuT||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||near Clare (approximately 13 km south-east)||Investigation phase:||Evidence collection|
|State:||South Australia||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Report status:||Pending||Highest injury level:||None|
|Anticipated completion:||2nd Quarter 2021|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Robinson Helicopter Co|
|Aircraft model||R44 II|
|Type of operation||Aerial Work|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|