2014 August: Horseshoe Lagoon (Qld). Helicopter Spraying Crash

Crop dusting chopper crashes into cane field

Air safety investigators will probe the cause of a helicopter crash near Townsville in north Queensland.

A Robinson R66 went down in a cane field near Horseshoe Lagoon late yesterday.

Firefighter Greg Vincett says the chopper was written-off but the young pilot escaped virtually unharmed.

“We just looked after the pilot until QAS [the Queensland Ambulance Service] arrived and we handed it over to them,” he said.

“He was a bit bruised and had a bit of chemical on him but like I said, the QAS got that under control and stabilised him and he got the helicopter, the emergency helicopter, down to take him to Townsville.

“The helicopter was spraying chemicals on a crop and he was doing his last run and he clipped powerlines which brought the powerlines down and the helicopter which crashed into a cane field.

“It [the crash] did a substantial amount of damage, it pulled the spray rakes off the helicopter and the helicopter ended up on its side – it is a definite write-off yes.”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says it is investigating the incident.