On January 13, 2003, a Bell 206B3, VH-AZH, operated by Heli-Muster, crashed in water at a base of a dam near Canberra. The helicopter sunk in approximately 30 meters of water and was later recovered. The pilot was reportedly seriously injured and the helicopter reportedly sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was being operated in daylight, visual meteorological conditions, under the authority of the Civil Aviation Authority, Australia.

Reportedly, the helicopter was being operated on a firefighting mission, and the pilot (sole occupant on board) had positioned the helicopter and taken on a load of water, it then crashed at the base of a nearby dam.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau contacted Rolls Royce engine company, Indianapolis, Indiana, and an investigator departed to Canberra to assist investigator-in-charge. For further information, please contact:

Mr. Stewart Ross
Senior Transport Safety Investigator
Australian Transport Safety Bureau for the Director
tel. (02) 6274 6413 / fax (02) 6247 1290

US Accredited Advisor:

Thomas R. Conroy
Air Safety Investigator
Office of Aviation Safety
General Aviation and Regional Operations Division, AS-20
Washington, DC 20594
(202) 314-6314

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