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R44 fatal crash at Cessnock Aerodrome, NSW

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R44 fatal crash at Cessnock Aerodrome, NSW

Old 4th Feb 2011, 01:08
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R44 fatal crash at Cessnock Aerodrome, NSW

Two dead, one injured in NSW helicopter crash

Read more: Two dead, one injured in NSW helicopter crash | News.com.au

TWO people are dead and a pilot is critically injured after a helicopter crashed in the NSW Hunter Valley.

Police say the Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at Cessnock Aerodrome and exploded on impact.

It was engulfed in flames after it crashed to the ground at the southern end of the airfield about 11.45am (AEDT) today.

Two passengers died and the male pilot was taken to hospital in a critical condition with serious burns.

Fire and Rescue NSW and Rural Fire Service officers were on the scene extinguishing the blaze.

All other aircraft have been diverted away from the aerodrome while the investigation continues.

Two dead, one injured in NSW helicopter crash | News.com.au
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Civil Aviation Authority have been notified about the crash while an officer from the NSW Police Aviation Investigation Branch is also en route to the scene.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 04:25
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Ivor from Newcastle Helicopters was onboard. Terrible loss, absolutely tragic.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 04:45
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Deepest sympathies to all concerned in this tragic loss.

Ivor was one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet....a true gentleman and a great aviator.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 04:53
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The Aviation community has lost a true gentleman in Ivor, My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

R.I.P Buddy.

Steve Flanagan.

Last edited by redsarboy; 4th Feb 2011 at 08:58.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 05:12
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A Great Loss

OMG!!

Iva was one of my instructors 19 years ago, a friend and gentleman.

The Australian helicopter community will certainly miss you! a tragic loss.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 06:49
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Very very sad... condolences to family and friends.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 10:17
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Unbelievable. Absolute tragedy. Never heard a bad word spoken about Ivor in the dozen odd years I've been flying helos. A pillar of the training industry. Deep sympathies to all his family and friends.
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 13:32
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A very sad tragic Loss. Sydney will miss you. RIP Iva
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 16:26
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RIP
more here
Two dead in Hunter Valley helicopter crash | News.com.au
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Old 4th Feb 2011, 20:21
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RIP

Maybe the directive from Robinson to fit the new bladder type fuel tanks should be made manditory.

Condolences to all.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 03:27
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RIP

have the names of the other crew on board been released yet. Nothing on the other websites.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:45
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What happened?

Any word yet on what may have gone wrong?
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 14:52
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Any word yet on what may have gone wrong?
Alleged “Hydraulics off” training (Maybe "stuck pedels" training), gone wrong, followed by Robinson exploding.

have the names of the other crew on board been released yet. Nothing on the other websites.
Ivor Durham, Sam Bateman. RIP (Public Knowledge, Bladeslapper etc)

So sad. I only knew Ivor. My thoughts are with his wife and young family.

RIP Mate.

Last edited by That lights normal!; 6th Feb 2011 at 10:49. Reason: See below - TM would know better than me.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 23:19
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Check your facts regarding the survivor
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 04:28
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ATSB Report:

What happened
At 1115 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 4 February 2011, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Astro helicopter (R44), registered VH-HFH, commenced circuit operations at Cessnock Aerodrome, New South Wales. On board the helicopter were a flight instructor, a pilot and a passenger.
Following a landing as part of a simulated failure of the hydraulic boost system for helicopter's flight controls, the instructor elected to reposition the helicopter to the apron. As the helicopter became airborne, it became uncontrollable and collided with the runway and caught fire. The pilot exited the helicopter; however, the instructor and passenger were fatally injured.
What the ATSB found
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) identified that a flight control fastener had detached, rendering the aircraft uncontrollable. The helicopter manufacturer had not recorded any previous instances of separation of this fastener. A number of separated components could not be located, preventing the identification of the specific reason for the separation.
A number of human factors contributed to the accident, including that the 'feel' of the flight control fault mimicked a hydraulic system failure.
Finally, the ATSB identified that fatal injuries sustained by the instructor and passenger were due to the post-impact fire and that a large number of R44s had not been modified to include upgraded bladder-type fuel tanks that reduce the risk of post-impact fuel leak and subsequent fires.
What has been done as a result
In response to the identification of a number of failures of the same type of self‑locking nuts in other aircraft, the helicopter manufacturer and Civil Aviation Safety Authority have highlighted the issue to operational and maintenance personnel.
The helicopter manufacturer also reduced the compliance time on a current service bulletin requiring that all‑aluminium fuel tanks fitted to older R44 helicopters be replaced with more impact‑resistant bladder‑type fuel tanks. A second bulletin aimed at removing a possible impact‑related ignition source was also issued.
Safety message
This accident reinforces the importance of thorough inspections by maintenance personnel and pilots. It is also a powerful reminder not to take off after identifying a possible problem with an aircraft. In addition, the accident highlights the risk of carrying unnecessary personnel during practice emergencies, and reinforces the safety benefits of incorporating the requirements of manufacturer's service bulletins in their aircraft as soon as possible.
The Preliminary Report was out last month:

Preliminary report released 18 March 2011
On 4 February 2011, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 Astro helicopter (R44), registered VH‑HFH, was conducting circuit operations at Cessnock Aerodrome, New South Wales. On board the helicopter were an instructor, a pilot undergoing a helicopter flight review and a passenger.
Following the completion of a sequence involving the simulated failure of the helicopter's hydraulic‑boost system, the instructor assessed that the hydraulic system had actually failed. He elected to reposition the helicopter on the aerodrome to facilitate further examination. Upon becoming airborne, control of the helicopter was lost and it collided with the runway and, shortly after, there was a fire. The pilot managed to exit the helicopter; however, the instructor and passenger were fatally injured.
Examination of the wreckage identified that a bolt securing part of the flight control system had detached. Although the circumstances of the accident are still under investigation, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has, in the interest of transport safety, issued a Safety Advisory Notice suggesting that operators of hydraulic system-equipped R44 helicopters, and organisations performing inspection, testing, maintenance and repair activities on the flight controls of those helicopters, inspect and confirm the security of the aircraft's hydraulic-boost servos.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 30th Apr 2012, 15:54
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Page 8 of the final report has post accident pictures comparing bladder and metal tanks.
The report says that they are unable to ascertain if bladders would have prevented the fire at Cessnock.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/3601599/ao2011016.pdf



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