Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control and near collision with terrain, involving Leonardo Helicopters AW139, VH-TJH, near Katoomba, New South Wales, on 26 March 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The ATSB is investigating the loss of control and near collision with terrain involving Leonardo Helicopters AW139 VH-TJH, 7.5 km South of Katoomba ALA, New South Wales, on 26 March 2021.

While conducting a single-pilot EMS flight, the aircraft was flown to the hover and an NVG winch commenced. During the winch, the aircraft drifted and descended towards terrain. The aircraft was recovered in close proximity to obstacles and during the recovery, the helicopter sustained an over torque.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will be gathering information from a range of sources for analysis. Investigation activities will include interviewing the crew of the helicopter, analysing flight data, and reviewing procedures and manuals.

A report will be released at the end of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant stakeholders so appropriate and timely safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 26 March 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0007 ESuT   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Approx 7.5 km 185° from Katoomba   Investigation phase: Examination and analysis  
State: New South Wales    
  Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: None  
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2023    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Leonardo Helicopters  
Aircraft model AW139  
Aircraft registration VH-TJH  
Operator Helicorp Pty.Ltd.  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Bankstown  
Destination Bankstown  
Last update 08 August 2022