The scene of the fatal helicopter crash at Shoalwater Bay in 2011.
The scene of the fatal helicopter crash at Shoalwater Bay in 2011.

Open finding on 2011 Shoalwater Bay chopper crash

THE final report into the cause of a fatal helicopter crash at Shoalwater Bay two years ago has been released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

While the report found the pilot lost control of the helicopter while hovering or at low speed, the investigation did not determine the reason.

The pilot and front seat passenger were killed in the crash on September 8, 2011 when their helicopter crashed on Double Mountain South as it approached the military training area's landing site.

The 55-year-old back seat passenger received serious injuries, but survived.

The helicopter landed upside down in heavily wooded bushland at the base of a steep embankment 93 km north of Rockhampton.

The physical characteristics of the landing site were not thought to have been a contributing factor.

Crews from both Mackay and Rockhampton responded to the crash and described it as the worst accident they had seen in years.

The bureau reported the crash was most likely as a result of environmental and operational factors.

It recommended pilots' skills in flying around pinnacle and confined areas be confirmed before the assignment of flights to similar locations.

It also highlighted the need for operators to be aware of potential safety risks, particularly for those whose competency was not established or checked.



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