‘Pi­lot saved lives’ in 2017 crash: find­ings

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

JUST a day be­fore the tragic Whit­sun­day Air Ser­vices he­li­copter crash which claimed two Amer­i­can tourists’ lives on Hardy Reef on Wed­nes­day, the Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau re­leased find­ings into an­other Whit­sun­day Air Ser­vices he­li­copter crash on Novem­ber 8.

The ATSB found the pi­lot’s ac­tions last year ul­ti­mately led to the pos­i­tive out­come af­ter about 40 min­utes into the re­turn flight to Hamil­ton Is­land, the pi­lot of the Robin­son R44 he­li­copter was forced to en­act emer­gency pro­ce­dures af­ter par­tial en­gine fail­ure.

Af­ter un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts to in­crease power, the pi­lot con­ducted an auto-ro­ta­tion on the wa­ter.

The pi­lot man­u­ally de­ployed the emer­gency floata­tion sys­tem and per­formed a suc­cess­ful ditch­ing about 49km from the is­land.

The three pas­sen­gers and the pi­lot, who were un­in­jured, re­mained in the he­li­copter and were res­cued by a crew of a lo­cal ves­sel about an hour later.

The he­li­copter later sank and was un­able to be re­cov­ered.

The ATSB re­port high­lights that the com­bi­na­tion of the emer­gency floata­tion sys­tem, the use and avail­abil­ity of life jack­ets and the pi­lot’s post-land­ing ac­tions re­sulted in a pos­i­tive out­come with no in­juries to those on board.

“The pi­lot landed the he­li­copter on the wa­ter, with the emer­gency floats de­ployed, shut down the en­gine, and ap­plied the ro­tor brake. The pi­lot ac­ti­vated the emer­gency lo­ca­tor trans­mit­ter and in­structed pas­sen­gers to pre­pare to in­flate their life jack­ets.”

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