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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 221210
Last updated: 3 December 2021
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Time:19:08 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S64 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane
Owner/operator:Erickson Inc
Registration: N173AC
MSN: 64015
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Wood Creek Dam, VIC -   Australia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Fire fighting
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: ATSB
A Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane, registered N173AC and operated by Erickson Inc., collided with water at Wood Creek Dam, Victoria. The collision occurred following an approach to the dam to fill an external tank with water for firebombing operations. All the crew exited the aircraft and swam to shore. One crewmember was seriously injured and two were uninjured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

ATSB Findings:
- The crew conducted a tight descending right hand turn into the dam, inside the upper margins of the flight envelope. This approach required a steep flare on arrival and likely resulted in the rapid onset of vortex ring state.
- The dam’s steep sides and narrow tapered body provided limited opportunity for vortex ring state recovery actions, contributing to collision with water.
- The Crew Chief's presence aboard the aircraft during firebombing operations exposed him to unnecessary risk.
- All crewmembers credited their survival to skills learned and practiced in Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. In addition, the helmet cord extension cables detached easily from the aircraft, contributing directly to the crew's egress from the flooded cockpit.

ex.66-18413, PR-HRB.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report



Photo of N173AC courtesy

Gawler (YGAW)
6 March 2010; (c) Andrei Bezmylov

Revision history:

28-Jan-2019 11:08 Sherlock Added
28-Jan-2019 11:10 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
28-Jan-2019 11:12 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
28-Jan-2019 13:37 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Embed code, Narrative]
29-Jan-2019 06:59 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
29-Jan-2019 07:11 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
29-Jan-2019 13:24 A.J. Scholten Updated [Source, Embed code]
02-Feb-2019 16:38 Anon. Updated [Damage, Narrative]
18-Apr-2020 06:25 harro Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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