Serious incident Agusta A139 VH-TJO, Friday 24 July 2020
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Date:Friday 24 July 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic A139 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Agusta A139
Registration: VH-TJO
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:25.8 km 87 degrees from Goulburn Aerodrome, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Wollongong Aerodrome (YWOL)
Destination airport:Wollongong Aerodrome (YWOL)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On 24 July 2020, the crew of a Leonardo Helicopters AW139, registered VH-TJO, departed Shellharbour Airport, near Wollongong, New South Wales, with four crew onboard (including a single pilot and aircrew officer). The flight was conducted under the night visual flight rules, with the assistance of night vision goggles, to recover two bushwalkers from the Bungonia National Park, New South Wales. On arrival at the search and rescue location the helicopter was descended to approximately 240 ft above ground level and reduced speed. The aircraft was then tracked over high ground past the edge of an escarpment, where the terrain dropped away to the valley floor. During this time an uncommanded, and increasing, rate of descent and lateral drift developed. This was identified by the aircrew officer, with corrective instructions provided to the pilot. During the recovery, the engine power output exceeded airframe limitations, rendering the helicopter temporarily unserviceable.


ATSB AO-2020-038

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