Aviation safety investigations & reports

In-flight break-up involving a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, registered VH-ZMF, near Maroota, NSW, on 9 July 2022

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating the in-flight break-up of a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, registered VH-ZMF, that occurred about 7 km west of Maroota, NSW, on 9 July 2022.

At about 1135 EST, VH-ZMF departed Cattai for a private flight. At about 1143, the helicopter broke-up in-flight and impacted terrain about 10 km to the north of the departure point. The helicopter was destroyed, and the pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured.

The evidence phase of the investigation will include examining the aircraft wreckage and accident site, recovering any relevant aircraft components for detailed examination in the ATSB technical facilities, analysing any available recorded data, and interviewing involved parties.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 09 July 2022   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 1143 AEST    
Location   (show map): near Maroota   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: In-flight break-up  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Fatal  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2023    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter Co  
Aircraft model 206L-1  
Aircraft registration VH-ZMF  
Serial number 45285  
Type of operation Private  
Sector Helicopter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Last update 15 July 2022