Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Robinson R22, VH-HKC, 86 km N of Hughenden Aerodrome, Far North Queensland, on 11 February 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into a collision with terrain accident involving a Robinson R22 helicopter 86 km north of Hughenden Aerodrome, Far North Queensland.

The pilot was conducting a positioning flight between two stations when the aircraft was reported missing on Thursday evening. The helicopter wreckage was located following a search coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority around 1130am Friday morning. The pilot, the sole occupant of the helicopter, was fatally injured.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will examine imagery of the helicopter wreckage and accident site, seek to recover any relevant aircraft components for detailed examination in the ATSB technical facilities, analyse any available recorded data, and interview involved parties.

A report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation. However, should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 11 February 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 19:15 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location: 86 km north of Hughenden Aerodrome   Investigation phase: Final report: Drafting  
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2022    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Robinson Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model R22 Beta  
Aircraft registration VH-HKC  
Serial number 3666  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Wongalee Station, Qld  
Destination Reedy Springs Station, Qld  
Last update 01 July 2022