Police and fire crews raced to the scene of a helicopter crash near Westwood yesterday.
Police and fire crews raced to the scene of a helicopter crash near Westwood yesterday. CHRIS ISON CI

Pilot walks from chopper crash

A HELICOPTER pilot walked away from a crash-landing after a rotor blade malfunction near Westwood, about 45 kilometres west of Rockhampton yesterday.

The man was mustering cattle at a low altitude shortly before the crash at the Evergreen Road property about 8.20am.

The Robinson R22 helicopter, owned by Howard Helicopters of Biloela, had about 80 litres of aviation fuel on board and Fire and Rescue crews were called in as a precaution.

Foam was sprayed around the crash site before it was left in the hands of Queensland Police just before 10am.

A Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesperson yesterday said they were yet to speak with the pilot.

“At this stage we believe there was a problem with the tail rotor which caused the helicopter to crash,” the spokesperson said.

“CASA will gather information from the pilot and review that information to determine if any further investigations need to be carried out.”

The Robinson R22 is a smaller version of the R44 helicopter which Sir Graham McCamley was flying when he crashed at Tartrus Station two years ago.

He was pulled from the wreck shortly before it burst into flames on October 4, 2007.

Fellow cattle tycoon Charles Lund lost the use of his legs when he suffered injuries in a helicopter crash at his Laglan property in 2001. Howard Helicopters did not wish to comment yesterday.

CQ air crashes

July 19, 2009: Karlis Gugis, en-route to Rockhampton from Casterton, crash-landed his plane into a field in Victoria. He was uninjured.

October 4, 2007: Marlborough beef baron Sir Graham McCamley was pulled from his crashed helicopter just moments before it burst into flames near cattle yards at Tartrus Station. Sir Graham, 75, was airlifted to Rockhampton Hospital and later taken to a Brisbane hospital for treatment for spinal and minor internal injuries.

March 4, 2007: Rockhampton pilot Richard McDonald was injured when his crop duster crashed 20km southwest of Clairview.

October 31, 2006: Pilot Brendon Rassie, 47, and passengers Luke Straatmans, 22, and Keith Suter, 33, died when a twin-engine Piper Navajo ploughed into a hill on a cattle property near Raglan.

November 27, 2005: Bluff father and son aviators, Greg and Darren McGrath, were killed when their light aircraft crashed to the ground just 800 metres from a QRI Christmas party.

December 26, 2005: Pilot of 13 years, Graham Toft, was taking his sister-in-law for a scenic flight when the plane engine failed and they crashed at Five Rocks Beach.

October 17, 2003: The Mackay-based Central Queensland rescue helicopter (a single-engine Bell 407) crashed into the ocean 3km south-east of Cape Hillsborough enroute to a rescue. The pilot, crewman and paramedic were killed.

April 17, 2001: The Capricorn Rescue helicopter crashed at Swain Reefs while trying to rescue sailors from a stricken Malaysian fishing vessel.

March 7, 2001: The pilot of a crop-duster was uninjured after he crashed into a cotton field 10km west of Emerald.

January 29, 2001: The pilot of a crop-dusting helicopter died when he crashed at Courtney’s Gap, 10km south-west of Mackay.

February 26, 2001: Cattle tycoon Charles Lund suffered spinal and ankle injuries in a crash at Laglan Station near Clermont.

January 8, 2001: The pilot of an ultra light aircraft walked away from a crash 25km south of Keppel Sands.

July 24, 2000: Five people were killed when the Capricorn Rescue helicopter crashed at Kenella Park near Marlborough.

June 12, 2000: The pilot of an ultra light plane at the Old Station Air Show at Raglan suffered minor injuries in a crash.

May 9, 2000: Two men escaped injury when their ultra light aircraft crashed near Longreach.

September 20, 1999: Six people survived a twin engine plane crash at Quail Island near Stanage Bay, 190km north of Rockhampton.

July 20, 1999: One person was injured in a helicopter crash at Melrose Station near Wondai.

October 27, 1998: Rockhampton rugby union star Scott Barton was lucky to escape injury in a helicopter crash near Alpha.

October 11, 1998: Prominent cattleman Thomas Kendall died when his gyrocopter crashed near Longreach.

April 20, 1998: A Bell 45 helicopter crashed near Seaforth after hitting power lines.

March 24, 1998: No one was injured when a Bell 45 helicopter crashed 14km west of Mackay.

March 12, 1998: One Nation party candidate Lynette Pamela Johnson, 51, and her cousin Graham Keith Froftick, 52, died in a light aircraft crash near Miriam Vale.

November 23, 1997: A plane crashed in a cotton field 4km from Theodore.

May 18, 1997: Two men were killed in a light aircraft crash near Emerald.

March 17, 1997: A 53-year-old man suffered serious injuries after an ultra light crash on a property south of Dingo.

February 26, 1997: One man died when a helicopter crashed into Gladstone Harbour soon after take-off.



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