The ATSB is investigating a collision with water involving a Robinson R66 helicopter, registered VH-KFT, east of Hawks Nest, New South Wales, on 26 October 2023.
The aircraft departed Cessnock toward Newcastle then tracked north following the coast. Shortly after passing the Yacaaba Headland the aircraft collided with the ocean near Hawks Nest. The aircraft was destroyed, and the pilot fatally injured.
The aircraft was recovered from the ocean and the ATSB has commenced the examination of the wreckage, and analysis of the evidence collected.
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties, so that appropriate safety action can be taken.