Saturday, November 26, 2016

Robinson R44, VH-ZNZ: Fatal accident occurred November 18, 2016 in Mount Windsor National Park, west of Daintree, far north Queensland, Australia

NTSB Identification: WPR17WA027
Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2016 in Mount Windsor, Australia
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On November 18, 2016, at 1244 local time, a Robinson R44 II, Australian registration VH-ZNZ, collided with terrain near Mount Windsor, Australia. The helicopter was destroyed by a post impact fire. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger was fatally injured. The flight was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of the Government of Australia.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Australia. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of Australia. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

P.O. Box 967, Civic Square
Canberra A.C.T. 2608
Tel: +612 6274 6054
Fax: +612 6274 6434

UPDATE: POLICE have confirmed a 25-year-old Kewarra Beach man as the victim of a fatal helicopter crash near Mount Carbine, northwest of Cairns.

The plumber was contracted to Queensland Parks and Wildlife and had been conducting maintenance work at remote area facilities on Cape York when the tragedy occurred about 12.45pm yesterday.

The pilot, a 43-year-old from Marlborough in central Queensland, suffered extensive injuries in the crash.

Up to 50 people were involved in the land and air search for his passenger in an area known locally as Mt Windsor and described by Far North Police District Duty Officer Sen-Sgt James Coate as “extremely harsh, inhospitable, very difficult to get to”.

The man’s next of kin have been informed.

“They’re absolutely distraught as you can probably imagine,” said Sen-Sgt Coate.

“At this stage it’s unknown (what caused the crash), the aircraft itself will be subject to significant forensic examination, hopefully that will lead us to a cause.”

A report is being prepared for the Coroner.

UPDATE: POLICE searching for a 25-year-old man missing after a helicopter crash north of Cairns yesterday have found a body inside the wreckage.

An aerial and land search has been underway in the Mount Carbine area since emergency services received an EPIRB distress call from the single-engine Robinson R-44 helicopter about 1.30pm yesterday.

About 10am today, search crews found a body after a further search of the wreckage.

The 43-year-old pilot remains in a serious condition at Cairns Hospital.

Cairns police will address the media this afternoon. More to come.

UPDATE: POOR weather conditions have hampered the search for a man believed to be missing after a helicopter crashed in dense rainforest north of Cairns yesterday.

The Rescue 510 helicopter left Cairns about 11pm last night to resume an aerial search but was unable to reach the crash site near the McLeod River Crossing, about 30km from Mount Carbine, due to a low cloud base and poor visibility.

Ground teams were able to push closer by vehicle and they stayed in the area overnight to continue the search this morning.

Police, SES workers and other government agencies have also joined the land search for the man in his 20s.

Police say their inquiries have established the man is believed to have been with the pilot during the day, however, it is unknown if the man was on-board when the helicopter crashed.

The 43-year-old pilot remains in hospital in a serious condition.

EARLIER: AUTHORITIES are still unsure if a second person was on board a helicopter which crashed in dense rainforest near Mt Windsor, west of Cape Tribulation, yesterday afternoon.

The pilot, believed to be in his 40s, was found conscious next to the wreckage of his aircraft at about 2.30pm.

He was flown to Cairns Hospital with serious injuries and was in a critical condition last night.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokeswoman said it was still uncertain whether there was another person on board.

The Rescue 510 helicopter crew returned to the crash scene about 5pm last night to conduct another search for the passenger.

Emergency services received a EPIRB distress call about 1.30pm from the single-engine Robinson R-44 helicopter from an area west of the Daintree, near the McLeod’s River Crossing.

The pilot was flying from Cardwell to Weipa, on Western Cape York.

Rescue 510 helicopter senior pilot Phil Frost said the man might have lit a fire to attract the attention of rescue crews.

He was flying over the crash area but could not see wreckage when he spotted smoke through the trees.

“Due to the dense forest up there I couldn’t see anything,” he said.

“As we approached an area I saw a puff of smoke and we winched an officer down to locate the survivor.

“I’m assuming this guy has heard us overhead and lit a fire.

“At first he was conscious and talking but he soon went downhill. He’s not very well at the moment.”

“The pilot was supposed to drop a guy off but when we picked him up he was too dazed to remember whether the passenger was on board at the time.”

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