Australia’s accident investigation body, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the final report on the January 28th, 2019 ditching of an Erickson Air Crane into a water filled dam in north eastern Victoria.
All crew members aboard the aircraft were able to safely make it to the banks of the dam as the aircraft submerged after impacting the water.
What the ATSB found
The ATSB found that the approach path to the dam was incrementally shortened over the course of the days’ operation. It is likely that the final tight approach path was at the upper margins of allowable speed and angle of bank, requiring a steep flare that contributed to the aircraft entering vortex ring state on approach.
Furthermore, the shape of the dam and surrounds of the site reduced the opportunity for recovery, and the aircraft impacted the water. The carriage of additional crew increased the risk of injury, while training for emergencies directly supported the crew’s survival.
To read the full report on the accident. Visit the ATSB site.