Crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air B200 in Melbourne: 5 killed

Date & Time: Feb 21, 2017 at 0859 LT
Registration:
VH-ZCR
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - King Island
MSN:
BB-1544
YOM:
1996
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Melbourne-Essendon Airport runway 17, while in initial climb, the pilot encountered technical problems and declared an emergency. The twin engine aircraft then banked left and crashed in flames onto a shopping mall located near the airport. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact and all five occupants have been killed. Apparently, an engine failed during initial climb, forcing the crew to return.

Crash of a Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S in Melbourne: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 10, 1979 at 1508 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ALH
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Whitemark - Melbourne
MSN:
500-1810-20
YOM:
1968
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
8500
Captain / Total hours on type:
100.00
Circumstances:
During the morning of August 9, 1979, the aircraft was refuelled to capacity and three drums, each with a capacity of 20 litres, were also filled with fuel and placed in the baggage compartment. The aircraft, loaded with freight, subsequently departed Essendon at 1335 hours and proceeded to Cambridge where it arrived at 1536 hours. The freight was unloaded and, at 1621 hours, the aircraft departed for Launceston where it arrived at 1653 hours. It was again loaded with freight and departed Launceston at 1720 hours bound for Flinders Island. The aircraft landed at Flinders Island several minutes after the end of daylight, which was at 1745 hours, and the freight was unloaded. On the following day, the aircraft was again loaded with freight and the pilot subsequently reported departure from Flinders Island at 1329 hours, bound for Essendon. The take-off run was observed to be longer than usual for this type of aircraft and its rate of climb appeared to be less than normal. The IFR flight plan notified by the pilot before departure indicated his intention to cruise at an altitude of 4500 feet but, at 1410 hours, he reported to Melbourne Flight Service Unit "request traffic for a descent to proceed VFE we're getting 50 knot head wind here". On being advised that there was no traffic information, the pilot reported leaving 4500 feet. At 1502 hours, the pilot established communication with Essendon Tower, reported approaching Channel 0 at 1500 feet, and "request expedite clearance". He was issued with a clearance to enter controlled airspace at 1500 feet tracking from Channel 0 to Essendon via Clifton Hill. At 1506 hours he reported at Clifton Hill and, at 1507:38 hours, he advised "I'm sorry have a Mayday appear to have a fuel problem we'll have to land on a golf course". On being asked "which golf course?, the pilot replied "oh right where we are now". No further communications were received from the aircraft. The aircraft was observed by witnesses in the Northcote area initially on a north-westerly heading towards Essendon. E was seen to be descending and the sound of the engines was not normal. After flying over the northern section of the Northcote Municipal Golf Course, the aircraft commenced a descending left turn and [passed over a power transmission line which ran in a north-south direction near the western boundary of the golf course. As the turn continued towards an easterly heading, the aircraft again passed over the power line, at a very low height, and in strong tail wind conditions struck trees bordering a fairway while in a slightly left wing down, nose down, attitude. It struck the ground heavily just beyond the trees and the main wreckage travelled a further 73 metres before it came to rest on the edge of a green in the south-eastern corner of the golf course. Detailed examination of the wreckage of the aircraft revealed no evidence of any defect or malfunction which may have contributed to the accident. There was no significant fuel in the fuel systems of the two engines and there was negligible fuel in those cells of the fuel storage system which were undamaged. There was no fire. The pilot was in full time employment as an airline captain with a major operator. He was also involved financially and managerially in Norfish Pty. Ltd. and both he and the Company had financial difficulties at that time. The flight plan submitted by the pilot before departure from Essendon on August 9 contained false names in respect of both the pilot and the operator. Neither the pilot nor Norfish Pty Ltd held a Charter or Aerial Work Licence. The maximum specified take-off weight for the aircraft was 3357 kg. for VFR operations and 3243 kg. for IFR operations. It has been calculated that the gross weight of the aircraft was 3775 kg. when it departed Essendon for Cambridge on 9.8.79 and 3746 kg. when it departed Launceston for Flinders Island on the same day. The calculated gross weight was 4061 kg. when it departed Flinders Island on the day of the accident. Although fuel was available at Cambridge and Launceston, the aircraft was not refuelled after it 'departed from Essendon. The three 20 litre drums were located in the aircraft wreckage and, although all were damaged, detailed examination indicated that they ruptured under the action of hydraulic shock and that they wert filled at the time of the accident. The total operating time of the aircraft from departure Essendon until the time of the accident was consistent with a fuel endurance which could be expected in the circumstances leading to this accident.
Probable cause:
The cause of the accident was that the aircraft was operated with insufficient fuel to safely complete the flight.
Final Report:

Crash of a Partenavia P.68B in Melbourne: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 10, 1978 at 1853 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-PNW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
65
YOM:
1976
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
3512
Captain / Total hours on type:
2.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
288
Copilot / Total hours on type:
34
Aircraft flight hours:
819
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was engaged in a local training flight at MelBourne-Essendon Airport, carrying one instructor, a pilot under supervision and a pilot's friend as passenger. Shortly after takeoff from runway 26, while climbing to a height of 200-250 feet, the pilot-under-supervision selected the wing flaps up and, at about this time, the pilot-in-command simulated an engine failure of one engine by closing a mixture control-believed to have been the starboard engine. The pilot-under-supervision identified the 'failed' engine, exercised the appropriate engine throttle to signify this identification and indicated the essential actions which would be taken in the event of an actual engine failure. The relevant controls were not operated. Following the completion of these actions full engine power was restored by the pilot-in-command. During the course of the simulated engine failure the aircraft assumed a nose down attitude. It then descended straight ahead with full engine power, passed through electric power cables outside the airport boundary at a height of 4.15 metres above terrain, and crashed into houses 286 metres beyond the western end of the runway. All three occupants were seriously injured while six people on the ground were killed, a seventh was injured as well.
Probable cause:
The cause of the accident was that the aircraft became grossly out of trim at a height which did not permit time for the crew to affect recovery. The manner in which the out-of-trim condition occurred has not been determined and the possibility of a trim system malfunction cannot be eliminated. However, the more likely explanation is that the command trim switch was activated unknowingly.
Final Report:

Crash of a Bristol 170 Freighter 21E off Cape Paterson: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 10, 1975 at 0218 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-SJQ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne - Launceston
MSN:
12807
YOM:
1946
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
18821
Captain / Total hours on type:
264.00
Aircraft flight hours:
9526
Circumstances:
The flight departed from Essendon Airport at 0050LT. At 0122 hours the flight reported to the Melbourne Flight Service Unit (FSU) that it was then at the Westgate reporting point cruising at 3,500 feet, and its estimated time of arrival at the West Bass reporting point was 0159 hours. At 0145:44 hours VH-SJQ advised the Melbourne FSU 'we have an engine failure on the port side, we have it feathered and are returning to Melbourne'. In response to a request from the FSU the flight advised it was able to maintain height 'at the moment'. At 0148:54 VH-SJQ confirmed that 'the port engine has failed and is feathered' and shortly thereafter advised an estimated time of arrival at the Primegate reporting point en route to Essendon Airport. The Uncertainty Phase of the search and rescue procedures was declared by the Melbourne Air Traffic Control Unit (ATC). At 0151:58 hours the flight advised the Melbourne FSU 'we are making a slow descent to one five zero zero' and, in answer to a query, reported 'we're unable to maintain our height with our rated power'. The Alert Phase of the search and rescue procedures was declared by Melbourne ATC, and a Bristol 170 Mark 31 aircraft en route from Launceston to Essendon Airport was diverted to intercept VH-SJQ and act as an escort. At 0157:46 hours VH-SJQ reported 'four eight DME Wonthaggi', and shortly thereafter, reported 'tracking one eight three on the Wonthaggi VOR'. At 0203:00 hours VH-SJQ transmitted a distress call and reported 'we're passed fifteen hundred feet and still going down'. The position of the aircraft at 0203:57 hours was reported as 'on the one eight six radial Wonthaggi and we are three seven DME'. The Distress phase of the search and rescue procedures was declared by Melbourne ATC and a second northbound aircraft was diverted to intercept VH-SJQ. At 0204:32 hours VH-SJQ reported 'we're down to nine hundred feet at the moment'; at 0207:42 hours, 'at six hundred feet at the moment; at 0212:55 hours, 'two two DME'; at 0213:22 hours, altitude was 200 feet; 0214:31 hours, 'we're down to one hundred feet'; and, at 0215:23 hours, 'this is a final MAYDAY call, we are approximately one eight DME and our altimeters registering zero feet'. Melbourne FSU then transmitted a ditching report of moderate seas with a moderate south-westerly swell; this was acknowledged by VH-SJQ. The escort aircraft then heard further transmissions from VH-SJQ which indicated that both altimeters were reading zero; the crew could see the tops of waves; and DME distances of 16, 15 and 14 were transmitted, the latter being the last transmission heard from the aircraft the time being about 0218 hours. Neither of the escort aircraft sighted VH-SJQ. Post analysis of the meteorological information indicates that the weather in the area of the accident was: surface wind from 280 degrees (True) at 15 knots, scattered cumulus cloud base 2,500 feet, scattered stratus cloud base 1,200 feet, patches of sea fog, visibility 40 kilometres reducing to 4,000 metres in rain showers, temperature 12° Celsius. It is probable that the temperatures at 1,500 feet, 2,500 feet, and 3,500 feet were 9.5°, 7° and 5° Celsius respectively. The conditions were not conducive to the formation of airframe or carburettor icing, and search aircraft in the area did not encounter any such icing.
Probable cause:
Due to lack of evidences, it was not possible to determine the exact cause of the accident. Analysis of the information available indicates that the flight profile flown by VH-SJQ is compatible with the aircraft having been flown at an indicated airspeed of 95 knots, and a power output from the starboard engine of 1250 BHP, i.e. 26 per cent less than the normal maximum power available in the conditions which prevailed. The pilot did not indicate in detail the nature of the difficulties he was experiencing, and as the majority of the aircraft wreckage has not been found it has not been possible to determine why he shut down the port engine; whether or not there was a degradation in the power output of the starboard engine; or whether there was some other factor which might have affected the performance of the aircraft. It might be significant, however, that at 0208:33 hours when a crew inter-communication was inadvertently transmitted from VH-SJQ, it was stated 'cylinder head is about three forty, oil pressure is around about eighty, oil temperature is about ah sixty five'. Such an oil pressure and temperature is normal, but the reported cylinder head temperature is 30 degrees Celsius in excess of the permissible emergency maximum.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S in Warracknabeal

Date & Time: May 6, 1969 at 1935 LT
Registration:
VH-EXT
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne – Warracknabeal
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5427
Captain / Total hours on type:
966.00
Circumstances:
At approximately 1935 hours EST on 6 May, 1969 an Aero Commander 500S aircraft, registered VH-EXT, struck the ground and crashed 2 miles west of Warracknabeal Aerodrome, Victoria, while making an approach to land at that aerodrome. The aircraft was owned and operated by Executive Air Services Pty. Ltd. of Melbourne and at the time of the accident it was engaged on a scheduled passenger commuter service between Essendon and Warracknabeal. The pilot, Allan James WALKER, and one passenger received minor injuries. A second passenger, the only other occupant, was seriously injured. The aircraft was virtually destroyed by impact forces. The pilot, aged 28 years, held a Current Commercial Pilot Licence, which was endorsed for the Aero Commander type of aircraft. He was the holder of a Class One Instrument Rating and this rating had been renewed after a flight test on 2 April, 1969. His total flying experience amounted to 5427 hours and of this, 966 hours had been flown on Aero Commander aircraft. He had recorded totals of 335 hours of instrument flying and 292 hours of night flying. The aircraft was operating under a current certificate of airworthiness and there is no evidence to indicate that the aircraft was other than in an airworthy condition. There is no evidence that the gross weight of the aircraft and the position of the centre of gravity were other than within the specified limits throughout the flight. The weather at Warracknabeal at the time of the accident was fine. There was no cloud and the wind was from the south east at 10 to 15 knots. The night visibility, that is, the distance at which prominent lighted objects could be seen and recognised, was reported to be 20 miles but it was a very dark night and there was virtually no visible horizon. The aircraft departed Essendon at 1836 hours using the procedures applicable to flight under the Instrument Flight Rules. The night to Warracknabeal at 6,500 feet was uneventful and the pilot commenced descent when the aircraft was approximately 40 miles from that destination. During the descent he observed the lights of the town of Warracknabeal and the lighting at the aerodrome. After entering the circuit the pilot commenced a downwind leg for a landing towards the east on runway 08. He made a left turn onto base leg and noted the indicated altitude as 1, 000 feet and at that altitude the clearance between the aircraft and the local terrain should have been slightly more than 600 feet. On the base leg of the circuit the pilot was unable to see the runway lights and being unsure of his position, he elected to conduct a go around. He did not retract the undercarriage, which had been extended earlier in preparation for landing, and the pilot continued the second circuit at 1, 000 feet indicated altitude rather than climbing to establish 1, 000 feet terrain clearance which would have been the normal procedure. He flew over the non-directional beacon, which is located approximately 300 yards north of the western end of the runway on which he intended to land arid he then positioned the aircraft for the downwind leg of the circuit.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot, in approaching an aerodrome at night, did not use appropriate circuit procedures and did not make full use of the available visual and instrument information to ensure adequate terrain clearance.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth in Melbourne: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jun 11, 1939
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-UHS
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
880
YOM:
1929
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The single engine aircraft, owned by Australian National Airways, was piloted by Gertrude McKenzie who was taking boys from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage for joy flights. While preparing for take off, the aircraft collided with another De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth. Registered VH-UHS, it was owned by the Royal Victorian Aero Club and piloted by Florence Wurts who was also taking boys from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage for joy flights. Both aircraft suffered an extensive fire and were destroyed. While both occupants of VH-UNP were slightly injured, the pilot of VH-UHS, Miss Florence Wurts was killed and the young passenger was injured. The exact circumstances of the collision remains unknown.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth in Melbourne

Date & Time: Jun 11, 1939
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UNP
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
1407
YOM:
1930
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The single engine aircraft, owned by Australian National Airways, was piloted by Gertrude McKenzie who was taking boys from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage for joy flights. While preparing for take off, the aircraft collided with another De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth. Registered VH-UHS, it was owned by the Royal Victorian Aero Club and piloted by Florence Wurts who was also taking boys from the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage for joy flights. Both aircraft suffered an extensive fire and were destroyed. While both occupants of VH-UNP were slightly injured, the pilot of VH-UHS, Miss Florence Wurts was killed and the young passenger was injured. The exact circumstances of the collision remains unknown.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth in Ballarat

Date & Time: Apr 18, 1938
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-UPU
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
545
YOM:
1928
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Aircraft flight hours:
2800
Circumstances:
While overflying the city of Ballarat, northwest of Melbourne, the engine failed. The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing when the aircraft hit a fence and crashed. Both occupants were unhurt while the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
The engine failure was caused by the presence of water in the carburetor.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60G Moth in Somerton: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 8, 1938
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UNU
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
1444
YOM:
1930
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot was performing a circular solo training flight from Melbourne-Essendon Airport. While making sharp turns exercises, he lost control of the aircraft that crashed in Somerton, north of Melbourne. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60G Gipsy Moth in Malvern

Date & Time: Jun 9, 1937 at 1840 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ULH
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Benalla – Melbourne
MSN:
Genairco 7
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft was being flown by Jack Macalister who was attempting a night landing at Essendon Airport, Melbourne. Due to heavy fog, he flew over the city looking for an alternate landing ground. Attempting to land at the Malvern Oval, he struck the spire of St. George's Anglican church and crashed. Both occupants were injured and the aircraft was destroyed.