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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 Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in King Island-Currie: 1 killed

Date & Time: Feb 8, 1996 at 0507 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-KIJ
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne - King Island
MSN:
31-7405222
YOM:
1974
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
5519
Captain / Total hours on type:
106.00
Circumstances:
A witness heard the aircraft pass King Island aerodrome at 0455 EST at the same time as he noticed the pilot-activated 10/28 runway lights illuminate. The pilot reported to Melbourne Control that he would be completing a runway 10, non-directional beacon (NDB) approach. A short time later he broadcast that the aircraft was at the minimum descent altitude, which is 640 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) for a runway 10 NDB approach. He also broadcast that there was a complete cloud cover. The aircraft did not enter a missed approach procedure but was heard to fly towards the south-east from overhead the NDB, which is located 1.3 km south-south-west of the centre of runway 10/28. A second witness, located near the NDB site, reported observing the aircraft's lights to the south-east. At 0507 a farmer heard the aircraft pass low over his house shortly before it crashed into trees, 3.5 km south-east of the aerodrome. The first responders arrived at the accident site at about 0530. The pilot had not survived.
Probable cause:
The pilot continued a visual approach in conditions which prevented him from maintaining adequate visual clearance from the ground or obstacles and which made visual judgement of the approach difficult. Also, the pilot probably did not recognise that the conditions were not suitable for a visual approach.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Grand Commander 680E in King Island

Date & Time: Jul 14, 1988 at 2017 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-CAY
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne – King Island
MSN:
680-0855-76
YOM:
1959
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The King Island aerodrome weather was forecast to include temporary periods of moderate to heavy rain showers, six eighths of cloud cover base 800 feet and visibility reduced to 3000 metres. The forecast surface wind was 340 degrees at 20-30 knots. The pilot's qualifications required a minimum visibility of 5000 metres for operation at night in Visual Meteorological Conditions, (NGT VMC). It was planned that another pilot, qualified for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations, would act as pilot in command, but he became unavailable. The flight plan submitted by the pilot indicated he would be operating under the IFR category and when queried on taxiing he confirmed that this was so. Shortly after DEPARTURE, the pilot requested a weather report from an IFR pilot who had just landed at King Island. This gave a cloud base of 2000 feet, heavy rain showers and visibility of 2000 metres. Flares had been laid to allow the other pilot to use Runway 35 because of the strong northerly wind. The pilot of VH-CAY activated the electric lighting for Runway 28. He reported that the weather was satisfactory enroute and he could see lights ahead on the island. On crossing the coast flight conditions became rough in moderate to severe turbulence. The pilot advised he arrived over the aerodrome at 1500 feet above mean sea level and observed the lighted wind sock was horizontal, with the direction fluctuating rapidly between north and west. He turned to the south and broadcast his intention to land on Runway 28. Neither the pilot nor the passenger had any further recall of the events leading to the accident. VH-CAY was heard passing over the aerodrome and the engine sound was very loud, suggesting to the listener that the aircraft was low. It had been raining continuously for more than an hour, sometimes very heavily, and it was still raining at the time. The aircraft was subsequently seen flying at a very low height some six kilometres south of the aerodrome, tracking approximately north. It was raining very heavily in that area and the wind was very strong. Soon afterwards there was a sound of impact and a flash of light. The aircraft had struck the tops of trees 30 feet high, then descended to the ground. After the aircraft came to rest it was destroyed by a fire. Both occupants were seriously injured.
Probable cause:
Examination of the wreckage was severely hampered by the extreme fire damage sustained, but no evidence was found of any defects that might have contributed to the accident. The aircraft had evidently been under control at the time it collided with the trees. A post analysis of the conditions by the Bureau of Meteorology indicated the possible presence of strong up and down drafts, horizontal wind shear, turbulence, and estimated visibility as 2-3000 metres in rain. The evidence suggested that the pilot may have been lower than he believed as the aircraft overflew the
aerodrome. Having passed overhead, there there would have been few external visual references under the existing conditions to alert him that the aircraft was inadvertently being descended into the ground.
Significant Factors:
The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the accident:
1. The pilot attempted to conduct an operation for which he was not qualified.
2. Severe weather conditions in the destination aerodrome area with strong winds, turbulence, heavy rain and poor visibility.
3. The pilot continued flight into adverse weather conditions.
4. The pilot may have misread his altimeter and been lower than intended.
5. The pilot may have unintentionally descended the aircraft into the ground in conditions of poor visibility.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 in Yarra Creek

Date & Time: Feb 13, 1979
Operator:
Registration:
VH-PAQ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
King Island - Wynyard
MSN:
227
YOM:
1969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The airplane departed King Island-Currie Airport on a cargo flight to Wynyard-Burnie Airport, carrying one pilot and a load of meat. Weather conditions worsened and the pilot was unable to locate the destination airport so he decided to divert to Devonport Airfield. Unfortunately, the visibility was too low and he eventually decided to return to King Island. While approaching the coast, both engines failed due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot attempted an emergency landing when the airplane crashed in a prairie located in Yarra Creek, on the east coast of the island. The pilot was injured and the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Double engine failure in flight due to fuel exhaustion.

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson I in King Island-Currie

Date & Time: Sep 11, 1938
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A4-15
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On landing, aircraft went out of control, veered off runway and came to rest in flames in a ravine. All four occupants were uninjured while the aircraft was destroyed by fire.