It's on YouTube for those on "i" type devices. "Wellington helicopter crash" will find it.
Interesting video. Amazing that the tail section falls straight off from what looks like an MR impact through the forces on the airframe. The turbine noise as it winds down is impressive and the guy that climbs straight in to rescue the crew despite the dangers has big balls.
The footage is pretty good, you can see him leaning out and looking down, and the offending wire is also in view moving towards and then hitting the main rotor, almost as if it got drawn in by the wash. The pilot was lucky not to fall further or get cut in half by the flailing rotor.
Seems that somebody was tugging on a cable & may have pulled it into the blades. It also appears that his seat failed, which was why he ended up on his back at the rear of the cabin & may be why he almost went out the door.
at 3:44 in the TV3 footage, you can see a guy under the helicopter jump up and grab the long line, prob making line taut and bringing it into the rotor disc. You see him stand up after the prang, very lucky not to have thing flatten him. Note he wasn't wearing hi-viz or hardhat by the looks, so what was he doing there going for the long line?
Great new footage from that front angle, the comments on that page under the clip explain a little more that cable was hanging in a loop from tower to underside of helo.
In that split second after contact what caused the entire tail boom to just come off like it had been cut clean, did the cable dragged by the rotors slice it off?? I couldnt make it out from side or front view.
It looks like it was cut clean and happened in a split second after impact.
Looks to me like the rear end just fell off; structural failure caused by the excessive shaking of the fuselage (new gearbox mounts required). After the tail starts to fall off, both rotors are still whizzing around quite happily (for a short time). The TV 3 news video shows this clearly at 1:04:
Just as an observation here & obviously just an opinion when the main rotor hit the cable/object the sudden 'jolt' I believe would have been transmitted right thru the airframe instantly as all that energy has to be dissipated somewhere so the tail/boom which has a fair weight hung right out at the end of it (the tail rotor/gearbox) would have acted like a lever placing a force upon the boom snapping it (the boom)off where it attaches to the main body almost the instantly the main blades got whacked. Also the tail blades where trying to hold the tail steady even during the instant event making the strain on the boom attach point even more stressed under load. Watch closely the main cabin shake violently also & that is probably half the distance from the main rotor shaft, the central point of any chopper. I've had this very same end result myself with a toy heli, the main blades hit an immovable object & the first thing that let go was the boom, tears where next on the scene !:-(.
That's one lucky driver not to mention personal in the immediate area!
Note he wasn't wearing hi-viz or hardhat by the looks, so what was he doing there going for the long line?
It looks like he was one of the crew. He seems to be wearing a harness. He does have Hi-Vis stripes on his (black) shirt but it isn't a full on vest. He also seems to be wearing a pilot's headset (ergo no hard-hat) so perhaps he was on ground comms and the pilot asked him to clear a hung-up long line. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to have gone to plan... Who knows? I'm sure more details will come to light
I wasn't suggesting the hi-viz was going to make a difference, what I meant was, why was everyone else wearing vests but he wasn't? Did it mean he wasn't a person who wouldn't normally be involved in heli ops? Was he unfamiliar with the job?
Turns out, from the TV1 news tonight he was a contractor from the rigging company contracted to erect the Xmas tree, so prob didn't understand the consequence of grabbing a line that hung perilously close to the rotordisc.
I thought about Capn bloggs answer, so slowed the video down a little. Seems to me, tho you can't see the cable, that the rotor has taken the cable around the fuse and garroted the tail boom The boom is clearly the first item to actually show any sign of impact related movement.
Be interesting to see the results of that part of the investigation, Because if bloggs is right and the boom simply failed, you'd be a very worried AS350 driver if that was the case.
Interesting the comments in rotorheads about the wearing of bone domes. Not so sure I'll giggle at any pilot wearing one again.