Operational in-flight risk assessment guidance
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Although the operator’s procedures for winching and night vision imaging system operations included the need to have adequate hover references and a method of recovery in the event of a night vision goggle failure, there was limited guidance to ensure these requirements were confirmed by the flight crew on‑site before commencing precision hover operations.

Issue number
Issue Status
Closed – Adequately addressed
Transport Function
Aviation: Other
Issue Owner
Mode of Transport
Issue Status Justification

New operational guidance regarding pre-mission and pre-winch risk assessments emphasises the requirement to confirm that suitable hover references exist in the winch position. This, combined with the addition of Trakka search lights, significantly reduces the likelihood of a loss of visual cues (including in the event of goggle failure) leading to a loss of control and collision with terrain.

Proactive action
Action number
Action Status
Action description

On 27 June 2023 the ATSB was advised that TOLL had made signification changes to sections of the operations manual related to the conduct of winching. The changes include additional guidance regarding risk management, pre‑mission and pre‑winch risk assessment, as well as specific guidance emphasising the requirement to confirm and maintain adequate visual references during winch operations.