Accident MBB BK 117C-1 P2-TAH, Friday 13 September 2019
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Date:Friday 13 September 2019
Type:Silhouette image of generic BK17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
MBB BK 117C-1
Owner/operator:Tribal Aurora Helicopters
Registration: P2-TAH
MSN: 7504
Year of manufacture:1996
Total airframe hrs:5449 hours
Engine model:Turbomeca Arriel 1E2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:4 nm SE off Silur Mission -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Buka Airport (BUA/AYBK)
Destination airport:Rabaul-Tokua Airport (RAB/AYTK)
Investigating agency: AIC PNG
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On 13th September 2019, at about 10:15 local time, a BK117 C-1 helicopter, registered P2-TAH, operated by Tribal Aurora Helicopters departed from Buka Airport for the planned destination Tokua Airport. The planned estimated time
of arrival at Tokua Airport was 11:25.
At 10:45 the pilot made a routine report to Air Traffic Services that his operations were normal, below 5,000 ft and he was estimating Tokua at 11:25. The helicopter failed to arrive at Tokua and wreckage of the helicopter was subsequently located approximately 0.9 nm seaward of the coast about 4 nm south east of Silur Mission. The passenger was uninjured and swam to shore. The pilot was fatally injured, and his body was later found in the water by local residents, about 200 metres from the impact point.
The passenger informed the AIC investigators that they flew through bad weather and had to divert to the nearest land, on the south east of New Ireland Province. The cloud was very low and visibility was significantly reduced in rain.

Causes [Contributing factors]:
During a VFR flight, the pilot of P2-TAH initially encountered adverse weather conditions and attempted to divert,to avoid them. However, as the flight progressed, the pilot encountered further deteriorating weather conditions, to a point in which he was unable to maintain visual references.
The pilot descended to 200 ft probably in attempt to go below the cloud base. As the pilot was manoeuvring to regain visual references, he was unable to maintain effective control of the flight parameters of the helicopter, and impacted into the surface.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIC PNG
Report number: AIC 19-1003
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

13-Sep-2019 15:56 Petropavlovsk Added
13-Sep-2019 15:58 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
13-Sep-2019 16:04 harro Updated [Destination airport, Narrative]
13-Sep-2019 16:47 Geno Updated [Time, Source]
14-Sep-2019 07:01 Petropavlovsk Updated [Source]
14-Sep-2019 08:11 gerard57 Updated [Registration, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Damage, Narrative]
14-Sep-2019 09:14 RobertMB Updated [Cn]
14-Sep-2019 09:36 TB Updated [Location]
14-Sep-2019 09:44 Petropavlovsk Updated [Time, Cn]
16-Sep-2019 05:56 gerard57 Updated [Source]
29-Sep-2019 18:11 harro Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Jan-2021 18:54 harro Updated [Nature, Narrative, Accident report]
04-Jan-2021 18:56 harro Updated [Accident report]
29-Jan-2021 10:26 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Accident report]
30-Jan-2021 11:22 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code, Accident report]
05-Dec-2023 20:43 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Embed code]

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