Home Critical engine Report reveals last movements before helicopter crash in Kosciuszko National Park

Report reveals last movements before helicopter crash in Kosciuszko National Park


A Bell LongRanger helicopter crashed at Kiandra Flats, killing both people on board, on April 3. Photo: ATSB.

The preliminary report on what happened before a helicopter crashed in Kosciuszko National Park at Kiandra Flats has been released by the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB).

The Bell LongRanger helicopter fell from a height of 7400 feet above sea level on April 3, 2022, kill the pilot and passenger on board.

The ATSB report describes the sequence of events leading up to the accident:

Earlier today (April 3), the helicopter departed Majura, north of Canberra Airport, as part of seven helicopters in flight. All helicopters followed a common route but operated independently of each other.

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The other six helicopters landed on property near Wee Jasper as the weather deteriorated, while the Bell LongRanger continued further south before landing along Long Plain Road in the Brindabella area.

ATSB Transportation Safety Director Stuart Macleod said when the LongRanger failed to arrive at Wee Jasper, the other pilots contacted authorities and a search was initiated.

“With the help of a passing motorist, the LongRanger pilot was able to reach mobile reception and contact other members of the tour party, and the search was cancelled,” he said.

flight path

Bell LongRanger helicopter flight path from Majura to Long Plain Road. Photo: ATSB.

Recorded flight data showed the LongRanger took off from Long Plain Road nearly three and a half hours later at 2:53 p.m.

“Police sent to locate the helicopter as part of the previous search arrived at the site just after takeoff and observed the helicopter depart south at low altitude in overcast conditions with low cloud and light rain,” Mr Macleod said. .

The forecast for the area at the time of this second flight indicated broken clouds between 2,500 feet and 10,000 feet above sea level.

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Tracking data showed the helicopter continued below 500 feet above ground level.

“About 10 minutes into this second flight, the pilot turned northwest and took a course towards Tumut, which he had given the tour group as a refueling destination,” Mr Macleod said.

“They then encountered higher ground and turned back to head south, again following lower ground for another 10 minutes, before reaching Anglers Reach, at which point they turned back down a track towards Tumut.”

Tracking data then showed that the LongRanger began to rise and fall at various intervals.

Mr Macleod said the helicopter first climbed to 7,000 feet above sea level (about 2,500 feet above ground level) and continued for about six minutes before descending to 6,800 feet, but almost immediately started to climb again.

“After climbing to 7400 feet, the helicopter entered the steep turn, its ground speed increased to 134 kt and its rate of descent exceeded 3800 feet per minute,” he said.

The helicopter crashed at 3:26 p.m. in an area of ​​clumps of grass and bare protruding rocks in Kosciuszko National Park.

Final flight path

The final flight path of the Bell LongRanger helicopter. Photo: ATSB.

When the LongRanger did not meet his group the next day at the planned site in Mangalore, Victoria, a second search was initiated. Bad weather prevented an aerial search and the ground crew found the wreckage that evening (April 4).

Subsequent examination of the site by the ATSB showed that the helicopter’s engine had power at the time of impact, and there was no evidence of an in-flight rupture or pre-existing fault with the engine. powertrain or flight controls.

Most of the wreckage was within eight meters of impact, but the main transmission, supports and support cell structure were scattered a further 70 meters on a hillside.

“As the investigation progresses, the ATSB will further review and analyze pilot and maintenance records, recovered wreckage components, flight tracking data, witness information and meteorological data,” Macleod said.

Detailed analysis and conclusions would be published in the final report at the end of the investigation.

“However, if a critical safety issue is identified at any time during the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify affected parties so that appropriate and timely safety action can be taken,” Mr. Macleod said.

Original article published by Claire Fenwicke on riot law.