Student, instructor receive minor injuries in helicopter crash at Orange Airport


 A MIDDLE-AGED woman and her flying instructor were lucky to escape serious injury when the dual-control helicopter they were flying crashed at Orange airport this morning.

Photos View the Prime 7 and WIN news stories.

View the Central Western Daily story

The 53-year-old Mudgee woman was attempting a hovering manoeuvre about 11.44am when she lost control of the small Robinson 22 and its rotors hit the ground, throwing the craft onto its side.

Photos: Olivia Sargent Central Western Daily

Initial investigations suggest the helicopter was flying only a metre off the ground.

The woman and her 35-year-old Orange flying instructor received only minor injuries, including bruising and soreness as a result of the incident.

While emergency services were initially concerned about a fuel leak, and established a 150-metre exclusion zone around the helicopter, further investigation determined no fuel had leaked from the craft.

Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Bruce Grassick said the aerodrome emergency management plan was activated almost immediately after the crash in accordance with airport protocol.

Inspector Grassick said emergency services responded quickly and worked well together to ensure all safety measures were in place.

"We're all thankful that everyone walked away from the accident," he said.

"(Although) there was significant damage to the helicopter."

Inspector Grassick confirmed the woman had "very limited flight experience" at the time of the accident.

He said police would work with the Australian transport safety bureau to determine the cause of the crash.


EMERGENCY services were called to Orange Airport at about 11.45am on Tuesday after a helicopter carrying an instructor and a student pilot crashed.

It is believe the student was attempting a hovering manoeuvre when the incident occurred in a paddock on airport grounds.

Both occupants escaped with minor injuries, although there were some concerns about a fuel leak from the stricken machine.

Police established a 150-metre exclusion zone around the helicopter before firefighting personnel secured the site.