On Sunday members of the Australian Army and Navy successfully recovered a UH-1H helicopter that had ditched into the Ben Boyd Reservoir near Eden, New South Wales on January 9, 2020.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, “While conducting aerial fire control operations, [the helicopter] lost power and collided with water.” The aircraft submerged but the pilot, the only person on board, was able to self-extricate and swim to shore. The helicopter is registered to Garlick Helicopters and was working on the Clyde Mountain Fire under contract with the government.
The Canberrra Times reported that the 47-year old pilot was treated at the scene by paramedics for shoulder, back, and ankle injuries before being taken to the South East Regional Hospital.
The reservoir is a drinking water source and there was concern that fuel could contaminate the water.
Using floats secured by Navy Clearance Diving Team One, the helicopter was floated approximately 400 meters to a boat launching ramp while being held within containment and absorbent booms to alleviate potential water contamination.
The Bell UH-1H was then brought onto the shore by an Australian Army Heavy Recovery Vehicle.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom. Typos or errors, report them HERE.