Antarctic helicopter incident update

Landscape near Davis station
Landscape near Davis station, 2010 (Photo: Kristin Raw)

2nd December 2013

The Australian Antarctic Division is hoping a weather window in the next few hours will allow further positioning of aircraft to assist with the recovery of three people injured when a helicopter crashed 150 nautical miles from Davis station during last night.

The helicopter came down while returning from a scientific mission to survey a penguin colony near the Amery ice shelf.

A Basler aircraft left Davis station early this afternoon Hobart time looking for viable landing areas for a Twin Otter aircraft which it is hoped can establish a suitable staging point to begin the transfer of the injured to Davis station.

The pilot and two passengers were injured in the incident. The helicopter was travelling in tandem with a second helicopter which immediately set down and assisted the injured.

The pilot and a passenger on the second helicopter are caring for the injured until additional medical support can be flown to the area and a recovery operation mounted. Because of the nature of the incident and the environment their injuries are being treated as serious and awaiting further medical assessment.

Reports from the incident site are that all are warm and sheltered and being closely monitored. Communication is being maintained with Davis station.

At this stage it is not known what caused the incident to the helicopter, operated by Helicopter Resources, and chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division.

This page was last modified on 2 December 2013.