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
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
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.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60 Moth in Melbourne

Date & Time: Dec 23, 1936
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-AUL
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
246
YOM:
1926
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Essendon Airport, the single engine aircraft clipped a tree and crashed 3 miles east of the airport. Both occupants were injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

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

Date & Time: May 16, 1936
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UII
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
895
YOM:
1929
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot Norman K. Field was performing a training flight when flying at low altitude over East Oakliegh, near Mount Waverley, in the suburb of Melbourne, the single engine aircraft hit telephone wires and a chimney before crashing in flames onto a house. The pilot was killed while nobody on the ground was hurt.

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

Date & Time: Jul 20, 1935
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-UAS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
367
YOM:
1927
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot William H. Zacher was taking part to a demonstration flight while on an air race held by the Victorian Aero Club. After completing several manoeuvre in the vicinity of the airport with another aircraft, the pilot made a last turn to join the approach when the collision occurred between both aircraft. The second one hit with its engine the tail of the Moth that dove into the ground and crashed some 1,5 mile from the Essendon Airport, near Maribyrnong. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed. The pilot of the second aircraft, Theodore H.B. Allen, was able to make an emergency landing and was unhurt.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.60 in Ballarat: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jul 21, 1934
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-UAG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
244
YOM:
1926
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot Roy Lovitt was performing a training flight and left Melbourne-Essendon that day. Accident occurred in unknown circumstances near Ballarat. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed.