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RAN Sea King Crash in Indonesia (Merged)

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RAN Sea King Crash in Indonesia (Merged)

Old 2nd Apr 2005, 10:58
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RAN Sea King Crash in Indonesia

Australian chopper crashes in Indonesia
21:35 AEDT Sat Apr 2 2005

An Australian Navy helicopter carrying 11 personnel has crashed in Indonesia, the Department of Defence said.

In a statement, Defence said the Navy Sea King helicopter crashed near Gunung Sitoli on Nias Island, off the west coast of Sumatra, about 7.30pm (AEST) Saturday.

The helicopter, from HMAS Kanimbla, was conducting a sortie in a support of the second phase of Operation Sumatra Assist, the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the earthquake relief effort.

Up to 11 people, including the helicopter's crew of three, were on board, the department said.

HMAS Kanimbla was steaming towards the vicinity of the crash site.

A Defence spokesman said it was not known whether anyone on board the chopper was killed.

The department was endeavouring to find out details of the crash.

"What we're hoping to do is get updates as soon as we can get the appropriate information," the spokesman said.

Radio 2UE quoted Indonesian authorities as reporting a helicopter crash that has claimed six lives.

It quoted unconfirmed reports that the helicopter was carrying medical evacuees and had a crew of three when it crashed.

Last edited by straitman; 2nd Apr 2005 at 11:55.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 11:41
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Nothing on the ADF web site media release section... who made the statement?
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 12:05
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Nine Australians killed in chopper crash
23:00 AEDT Sat Apr 2 2005

Tragedy has struck Australia\'s relief effort on Nias, with a Navy helicopter crashing, killing nine personnel on board.

The chopper crashed Saturday afternoon while on approach to Amandraya village on the remote west coast of Nias.

The Sea King helicopter had been ferrying an emergency medical team from the Kanimbla to the village as part of relief efforts to outlying areas of Nias following a devastating earthquake on Monday.

The helicopter crashed on approach to land, Kanimbla captain Commander George McGuire told journalists who had been on board the Kanimbla for a media tour.

He said two on board the helicopter survived and were airlifted to the Kanimbla for emergency surgery by the ship's second helicopter, which landed with a medical team after seeing smoke from the crash site.

"They are in a serious condition with leg fractures and other injuries," Cmdr McGuire said.

"We believe the rest of the personnel died."

On board the chopper were five naval personnel as well as three from the Air Force and one member of the Army.

Seven of the dead were male and two were female.

The Kanimbla immediately scrambled its second helicopter to inspect the crash zone for a second time after Indonesian military authorities in the area suggested the other nine passengers on board may have survived.

But an hour later the 300 ship's crew members were informed that all nine had been killed, their bodies found in the wreckage by a team of paramedics and rescue personnel.

Cmdr McGuire immediately dispatched the Kanimbla to the rescue site and it was steaming around the southern tip of Nias to take up station near a river leading to the village where the chopper crashed.

"That location is a very remote location," he said, adding that the trip would take about six hours to steam to the site where the chopper, callsign "Shark 02", went down.

Shattered staff on the Kanimbla cried and bowed their heads in shock in the ship's mess room when Cmdr McGuire broke the news that no other survivors had been found.

In the ship's cavernous hold, which had been converted into an emergency hospital ward, about 20 military doctors were caring for the two wounded crew members, conducting on-the-spot X-rays in preparation for surgery.

The Navy confirmed that all nine personnel killed in the crash were Australians.

©AAP 2005

Last edited by straitman; 2nd Apr 2005 at 12:26.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 12:29
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I have also posted this on the military forum, unaware it was being posted here.

May they all RIP.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 13:02
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This is the aircraft and squadron I cut my naval aviation teeth on. This will be deeply felt by the Fleet Air Arm, the RAN Air Station, the Navy, and Nowra...all small and close communities. These guys, all the servicemen were doing what comes best...putting themselves in harms' way to save others.

I'm on Seahawks now but I still feel this one very deeply.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 18:36
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SeaKing accident in Sumatra


Very sad.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 18:41
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Sad confirmation

Last Update: Sunday, April 3, 2005. 4:44am (AEST)

The Department of Defence has confirmed that nine Australian Defence Force personnel are missing, presumed dead, after a helicopter crash on the Indonesian island of Nias.

An Australian navy Sea King helicopter from HMAS Kanimbla crashed on approach to a village in the south of the earthquake-stricken island yesterday at about 7:30pm (AEST).

"Two Australian Defence Force personnel have been recovered from the crash site of the Navy Sea King, however another nine ADF personnel on board the crashed helicopter are missing presumed dead," a statement said.

The incident was the deadliest involving the Australian military since 18 servicemen died when two Black Hawk helicopters collided during a training exercise in Queensland state in June 1996.

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) earlier quoted Commander George McGuire, the captain of the Kanimbla, saying that nine of the 11 people on board the helicopter died when it crashed on an approach to the island's remote west coast.

Commander McGuire said two on board the helicopter survived and were airlifted back to the Kanimbla for emergency surgery by the ship's second helicopter, which landed with a medical team after seeing smoke from the crash site.

"They are in a serious condition with leg fractures and other injuries," Commander McGuire was quoted as saying by an AAP reporter on board the Kanimbla.

"We believe the rest of the personnel died," he said, adding they included seven men and two women.

The Kanimbla was heading towards the area to try to reach the downed aircraft, the Australian defence spokesman said.

An Indonesian army helicopter was dispatched to the crash site, said Binahati Baeha, the senior government official in the Nias port of Gunung Sitoli.

Indonesian air force spokesman, First Marshal Sagom Tambun, said residents in the Amandraya region in the far south of the island reported seeing the crash.

"The witnesses said that the Sea King helicopter was attempting to conduct an emergency landing in Amandraya subdistrict but it did not go smoothly," he said.

Commander McGuire earlier told reporters that two helicopters had been sent to Teluk Dalam after a powerful aftershock struck the quake-battered region on Saturday.

There "were a large number of casualties" in the town but it was unclear if they were from the aftershock or Monday's larger quake, he said.

The helicopters would "make an initial assessment and subsequent to that we will be evacuating patients to our operating team or onto the Singaporean field hospital at the landing zone," he said.

Indonesian officials said there was no information on injuries or damage in the aftershock, which measured 5.8 on the Richter scale.

The UN estimated Monday's quake killed 1,300 people, most of them on Nias.
From ABC News online


A ROYAL Australian Navy helicopter crashed on a rescue mission in earthquake-stricken Indonesia last night, killing nine defence personnel.

Two others were injured when the Sea King helicopter, from HMAS Kanimbla, came down as it was trying to land in a remote part of the devastated island of Nias. Those killed - seven men and two women - were five Navy personnel, three RAAF members and one Army soldier.
The two male survivors were airlifted from the crash scene and were being operated on last night aboard the Kanimbla.

"They are in a serious condition with leg fractures and other injuries," Kanimbla\'s Commander George McGuire said. The Australians had been diverted to Nias only days before they were due to return home after three months in Sumatra helping victims of the Boxing Day tsunami.

The Sea King carried an emergency medical team and was looking for casualties of last week\'s earthquake in rugged country that had not been visited by relief workers. Another Sea King following its did not see the crash but arrived minutes later to find the burning wreck of the chopper with bodies trapped inside.

The Defence Department said in a statement in Canberra that the crash occurred at approximately 7.30pm Australian time.

"\The helicopter, from HMAS Kanimbla, was conducting a sortie in support of Operation Sumatra Assist (Phase 2), the Australian Defence Force\'s humanitarian contribution to the earthquake relief effort," the Defence Department said.

This reporter from The Sunday Telegraph on board the Kanimbla heard of the crash 26 minutes after it had happened. She heard a radio message: "\Problem with chopper. No survivors." The accident happened at 4.30pm local time and the light was said to be okay for flying.

Experts said it was thought mechanical failure was the most likely cause of the crash.

Shattered crew members on the Kanimbla cried and bowed their heads in shock in the ship\'s mess room when they heard the news of the deaths.

The accident is the worst loss of life in a peacetime military helicopter crash since 1996, when 18 soldiers were killed when two Army Blackhawks collided on a training exercise in Queensland.

The Kanimbla\'s helicopters were to be used to distribute food, water and medical supplies.

With the island\'s airstrip destroyed, aid had been trickling in slowly and heavy earthmoving equipment needed to shift rubble had been stuck on the mainland.

The Navy personnel killed in last night\'s crash should have been home and reunited with their loved ones after three months in Indonesia.

Kanimbla, with its 60 medical personnel, was already in Singapore after its rescue and rebuilding efforts following the Boxing Day tsunami when it was turned back to help Indonesia through its latest natural disaster.

Commander McGuire received the order to divert to Nias following last week\'s tragic earthquake.

The ship\'s Sea King helicopters were deployed to Nias to evacuate those most in need of urgent medical attention - for treatment on board the vessel, which has two operating theatres.

HMAS Kanimbla was originally built for the US Navy and acquired by the Navy in 1994.

Along with HMAS Manoora, the Kanimbla underwent extensive modifications for new roles as helicopter-capable amphibious transports. Their primary roles are to transport, lodge ashore and support an Army contingent of 450 troops and their vehicles and equipment.
From news.com.au

Last edited by TheStormyPetrel; 2nd Apr 2005 at 19:07.
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 21:10
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To those who have died, may you rest in peace.

"These things we do so that others may live"
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 22:17
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Mission continues despite Chopper crash
08:59 AEDT Sun Apr 3 2005

Latest Update. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=13564
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Old 2nd Apr 2005, 23:25
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A very sad day

a very sad day. My thoughts are with the families.

Time for a rum

The eye
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 00:41
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Defence Force Chief Peter Cosgrove today confirmed that nine Australian military personnel, comprising six from the navy and three from the air force, had died in the Kanimbla helicopter crash.

Lieutenant General Cosgrove also confirmed at a press conference the dead were seven men and two women.

Four were air crew and the rest were medical relief specialists, he said.

He said early media reports of an army person being among the casualty list were incorrect.

Kanimbla's captain, Commander George McGuire, said two male personnel survived the crash and were undergoing surgery on board the Kanimbla after sustaining serious injuries.

"They are in a serious condition with leg fractures and other injuries," Cmdr McGuire said.
Full report with photo

So very sad.
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 00:46
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Red face

The Sea King Mk 50, side no. '02' was from 817 Squadron RAN with 4 crew on board as well as pax. It crashed during approach to land at Aman Draya village on the west coast of Nias Island.

Other details will be released in due course, as always speculation over the cause is too early, please don't fuel it!

There was no involvement by the Booty or any other ex UK aircrew. All condolences are much appreciated and will be passed on to the families. As expected it has hit hard and all are feeling it.
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 04:37
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Chopper suffered engine failure: witnesses
By Indonesia correspondent Tim Palmer and staff

An investigation is underway into the cause of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine Australian Defence Force personnel on the Indonesian island of Nias.

Witnesses say the helicopter's engine died while it was 30 or 40 metres above the ground before it crashed cockpit first into a football field.

The inquiry is expected to examine whether over-work and stress contributed to the crash.

HMAS Kanimbla, on which the helicopter was based, will continue to help with relief efforts for the victims of the Indonesian earthquake.

Two men survived the accident and are being treated for fractures on HMAS Kanimbla, which is off the island of Nias.

Chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, says efforts are being made to bring home the bodies of the dead.

"This, we believe, will not be possible before Tuesday at the earliest," he said.

The Indonesian President, who will start a visit to Australia today, has offered to provide any assistance necessary to help that process.

Crash witnesses

Villagers told the ABC they began signalling for help to the Australian helicopter as it flew overhead.

It then circled their village twice and then made a low approach towards the football field.

They say that around 30 or 40 metres before it was over the football field they heard the engine die and the helicopter crashed cockpit first into the field.

Residents of the village rushed to the wreckage to attempt to rescue those on board but they say it caught on fire within five or 10 minutes of the crash.

The blackened wreckage, now no more than 1.5 metres high, is strewn across the football field with the cockpit nose cone thrown some 20 metres free.

The crash is the deadliest military accident since 18 servicemen died in the crash of two Black Hawk helicopters in 1996.

Gen Cosgrove says no arrangements have yet been made to provide another Sea King helicopter and crew for the ship.
full report
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 05:28
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While in Banda Acey earlier this year got to chat to a number of these crews as they came and went from Kanimbla. They were doing a great job there, and the Indonesian people owe a debt of grattitude to these aviators and military personnel who died.

From us here at Heli Ops we would like express our condolences to friends, families and especially workmates of those who died.

You paid the ultimate sacrifice for helping those in need. You will never be forgotten.

Rest in Peace and fly through the sky on the wings of an angel.

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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 09:42
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The names have been released:

The Royal Australia Navy has lost Lieutenant Mathew Davy and Lieutenant Paul Kimlan from the ACT, Lieutenant Jonathan King from Queensland, Lieutenant Matthew Goodall, Petty Officer Stephen Slattery and Leading Seaman Scott Bennett from New South Wales.

Members of the Royal Australian Air Force who died in the accident were Squadron Leader Paul McCarthy from Western Australia, Flight Lieutenant Lyn Rowbottom and Sergeant Wendy Jones from Queensland.
Full report
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 10:09
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HAA thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones

On behalf of the Helicopter Association of Australasia, I would like to express our sympathy to those who have lost loved ones in the Sea King accident.

We are always in awe of the work these people do, often under extreme hardships. The RAN has an outstanding record for achieving their assigned missions, both at war and in peace.

As always, people in our region go to help our neighbours, without question; often ignoring the risks to themselves.

We are so proud of ADF personell who went to help their fellow man. We are also saddened at their losses and share the grief the RAN, RAAF, families and friends are now suffering.

We will not forget their sacrifice.

Rob Rich
Helicopter Asociation of Australasia
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 17:34
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I left this area this evening and I can speak for the humanitarian community on the ground and indeed the local population when I say that the sense of loss and sadness is huge, even though those killed and injured may not have been personally known, be under no doubt that they, and all the helo crews, that have operated in this disaster are held as heroes. The number of lives they have saved and the suffering they cut short will never be known, and its continuing every day.

One of my guys took a grainy photo of 02 and her sister 21 on the ramp at BTJ when J Howard came to visit, he framed it and hung it over his desk with some other photos. As soon as it was realised that she was the helo involved in this accident, people have been coming to look and have been stuffing flowers around it all day.

RIP Guys & Girls.
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Old 3rd Apr 2005, 23:36
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I too am deeply moved by the Sea King crash and losses.

It is all too easy to sit back and be complacent about the sacrifice the men and women of the ADF make each and every day to serve our wonderful country.

You are an inspiration to us all and I for one am extremely grateful!

My heart and the tears I have shed go out to the grieving friends and family of those lost.
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Old 4th Apr 2005, 01:32
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I have lost some very close friends in this accident. My heart goes out to the family, friends and fellow Fleet Air Arm members.

It has been a tragic loss of life. Their efforts and the efforts of all those involved in the operation will never be forgotten.

Kingy, Paul, Matty, Scotty and all involved, may you eternally rest in Peace.

The effects of this tragedy will remain with me forever, I will always hold fond memories of our times at Albatross.
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Old 4th Apr 2005, 03:18
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You have lost your lives in the most noble cause of all: saving your fellow man.

Rest In Peace
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