ATSB determines that Channel Ten News JetRanger VH-ZMN crashed due to crosswind and loss of tail rotor effectiveness

1 August 2013 © David Eyre

ABOVE: The crash site at Weir Road in Baskerville, in the hills east of Perth, showing VH-ZMN Bell 206B JetRanger III (cn 3591) of HeliWest, operated for Channel Ten News.
Photo © Matt Hayes

As reported in AviationWA on 19 January 2013, Channel Ten News JetRanger helicopter VH-ZMN crashed at Baskerville as it was filming a truck rollover accident site for a news story.

The helicopter then made a hard landing, causing the tailboom and rotor to break away from the fuselage as the aircraft rolled to the right. The Heliwest pilot and Channel Ten cameraman were both able to walk away from the crash.

The Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) investigation has determined that as the pilot turned right, a cross-wind from the left caused a loss of tail rotor effectiveness. This caused a temporary loss of control and a forced landing.

The report said “The slope that he landed on resulted in the helicopter immediately rolling over with the engine still operating. Fortunately, it did not catch fire, a factor that can make all the difference for the survival of occupants in such accidents.”

The ATSB said that all helicopter pilots should be familiar with the recommended recovery techniques, and Heliwest has since implemented more training for their pilots.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *