Date & Time: Oct 16, 2008 at 0945 LT
Type of aircraft:
GippsAero GA8 Airvan
Registration:
VH-WRT
Flight Phase:
Flight
Flight Type:
Cargo
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Elcho Island-Mata Mata-Muthamul-Nyinyikay-Rurruwuy-Elcho Island
MSN:
GA8-05-005
YOM:
2001
Country:
Australia
Region:
Oceania
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
0
Pax fatalities:
0
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1300
Captain / Total hours on type:
300
Aircraft flight hours:
4750
Circumstances:
While cruising at 4,500 feet over Buckingham Bay, the aircraft lost altitude and crashed. Some debris were found the day after but not the pilot who is believed to die.
Probable cause:
Following a review of the available evidence covering:
• witness information,
• the pilot's fatigue and health,
• the airworthiness of the aircraft,
• aircraft fuel,
• the weather affecting the flight, and
• the aircraft’s loading and weight and balance,
the investigation was unable to identify any factors that may have contributed to the accident.
From the evidence available, the following findings are made with respect to the missing aircraft at Buckingham Bay, Northern Territory on 16 October 2008 involving Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan aircraft, registered VH-WRT. They should not be read as apportioning blame or liability to any organisation or individual.
No contributing safety factors were identified.
Other safety factors:
• The main vertical net and the throwover net were not used to restrain the cargo.
• The full jerry cans were not secured in the aircraft cabin.
• At the time of departure, the aircraft’s centre of gravity (c.g) was probably to the rear of the permitted c.g limit that was published in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
• There was no record that the pilot lodged a flight notification for the flight with Airservices Australia.