Region

Crash of a Cessna 404 Titan in Lockhart River: 5 killed

Date & Time: Mar 11, 2020 at 0930 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OZO
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Cairns – Lockhart River
MSN:
404-0653
YOM:
1980
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft departed Cairns on a charter flight to Lockhart River, carrying workers for the government. While descending to Lockhart River, the pilot encountered marginal weather conditions with rain falls and strong winds. A first approach to Lockhart River was abandoned and the pilot was forced to initiate a go-around. Few minutes later, while in a second attempt to land, the aircraft crashed on the Claudie Beach located about 4 km southeast of Lockhart River. All five occupants were killed.

Crash of a Lockheed EC-130Q Hercules near Peak View: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 23, 2020 at 1400 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N134CG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - Richmond
MSN:
4904
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
Tanker 134
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The airplane departed Richmond Airbase and was conducting fire control operations when contact was lost. Witnesses on the ground reported hearing a loud bang and saw a giant fireball around the time of the crash. ATSB said the fire retardant-laden aircraft, Tanker 134, was assisting with fire suppression efforts when the crash occurred near Peak View, northeast of Cooma. All three crew members were killed.

Crash of an Angel Aircraft Corporation Model 44 Angel in Mareeba: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 14, 2019 at 1115 LT
Registration:
VH-IAZ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Mareeba - Mareeba
MSN:
004
YOM:
2008
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane crashed in unknown circumstances in a cornfield located near the Mareeba Aerodrome. Both occupants aged 73 and 63 were killed.

Crash of a Britten-Norman BN-2A-20 Islander in West Portal: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 8, 2018 at 0828 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OBL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Hobart – Bathurst Harbour
MSN:
2035
YOM:
1986
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot departed Hobart Airport at 0748LT on a positioning flight to Bathurst Harbour, southwest Tasmania. En route, she encountered poor weather conditions and limited visibility when the airplane struck the slope of a mountain located in the Southwest National Park, some 32 km northeast of the intended destination. The wreckage was found few hours later in West Portal, about 100 meters below the summit. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver off Cottage Point: 6 killed

Date & Time: Dec 31, 2017 at 1515 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-NOO
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
1535
YOM:
1963
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The single engine seaplane was returning to the Rose Bay seaplane base at Sydney when it crashed in unknown circumstances into the Jerusalem Bay, about 30 km north of its destination. The airplane struck the water surface and sank rapidly off Cottage Point. All six occupants were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 441 Conquest II in Renmark: 3 killed

Date & Time: May 30, 2017 at 1630 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-XMJ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Renmark - Adelaide
MSN:
441-0113
YOM:
1980
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
14751
Captain / Total hours on type:
987.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1000
Aircraft flight hours:
13845
Circumstances:
On 30 May 2017, a Cessna 441 Conquest II (Cessna 441), registered VH-XMJ (XMJ) and operated by AE Charter, trading as Rossair, departed Adelaide Airport, South Australia for a return flight via Renmark Airport, South Australia. On board the aircraft were:
• an inductee pilot undergoing a proficiency check, flying from the front left control seat
• the chief pilot conducting the proficiency check, and under assessment for the company training and checking role for Cessna 441 aircraft, seated in the front right control seat
• a Civil Aviation Safety Authority flying operations inspector (FOI), observing and assessing the flight from the first passenger seat directly behind the left hand pilot seat.
Each pilot was qualified to operate the aircraft. There were two purposes for the flight. The primary purpose was for the FOI to observe the chief pilot conducting an operational proficiency check (OPC), for the purposes of issuing him with a check pilot approval on the company’s Cessna 441 aircraft. The second purpose was for the inductee pilot, who had worked for Rossair previously, to complete an OPC as part of his return to line operations for the company. The three pilots reportedly started their pre-flight briefing at around 1300 Central Standard Time. There were two parts of the briefing – the FOI’s briefing to the chief pilot, and the chief pilot’s briefing to the inductee pilot. As the FOI was not occupying a control seat, he was monitoring and assessing the performance of the chief pilot in the conduct of the OPC. There were two distinct exercises listed for the flight (see the section titled Check flight sequences). Flight exercise 1 detailed that the inductee pilot was to conduct an instrument departure from Adelaide Airport, holding pattern and single engine RNAV2 approach, go around and landing at Renmark Airport. Flight exercise 2 included a normal take-off from Renmark Airport, simulated engine failure after take-off, and a two engine instrument approach on return to Adelaide. The aircraft departed from Adelaide at 1524, climbed to an altitude about 17,000 ft above mean sea level, and was cleared by air traffic control (ATC) to track to waypoint RENWB, which was the commencement of the Renmark runway 073 RNAV-Z GNSS approach. The pilot of XMJ was then cleared to descend, and notified ATC that they intended to carry out airwork in the Renmark area. The pilot further advised that they would call ATC again on the completion of the airwork, or at the latest by 1615. No further transmissions from XMJ were recorded on the area frequency and the aircraft left surveillance coverage as it descended towards waypoint RENWB. The common traffic advisory frequency used for air-to-air communications in the vicinity of Renmark Airport recorded several further transmissions from XMJ as the crew conducted practice holding patterns, and a practice runway 07 RNAV GNSS approach. Voice analysis confirmed that the inductee pilot made the radio transmissions, as expected for the check flight. At the completion of the approach, the aircraft circled for the opposite runway and landed on runway 25, before backtracking and lining up for departure. That sequence varied from the planned exercise in that no single-engine go-around was conducted prior to landing at Renmark. At 1614, the common traffic advisory frequency recorded a transmission from the pilot of XMJ stating that they would shortly depart Renmark using runway 25 to conduct further airwork in the circuit area of the runway. A witness at the airport reported that, prior to the take-off roll, the aircraft was briefly held stationary in the lined-up position with the engines operating at significant power. The take-off roll was described as normal however, and the witness looked away before the aircraft became airborne. The aircraft maintained the runway heading until reaching a height of between 300-400 ft above the ground (see the section titled Recorded flight data). At that point the aircraft began veering to the right of the extended runway centreline (Figures 1 and 15). The aircraft continued to climb to about 600 ft above the ground (700 ft altitude), and held this height for about 30 seconds, followed by a descent to about 500 ft (Figures 2 and 13). The information ceased 5 seconds later, which was about 60 seconds after take-off. A distress beacon broadcast was received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and passed on to ATC at 1625. Following an air and ground search the aircraft was located by a ground party at 1856 about 4 km west of Renmark Airport. All on board were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Findings:
From the evidence available, the following findings are made with respect to the collision with terrain involving Cessna 441, registered VH-XMJ, that occurred 4 km west of Renmark Airport,
South Australia on 30 May 2017. These findings should not be read as apportioning blame or liability to any particular organisation or individual.
Contributing factors:
• Following a planned simulated engine failure after take-off, the aircraft did not achieve the expected single engine climb performance, or target airspeed, over the final 30 seconds of the flight.
• The exercise was not discontinued when the aircraft’s single engine performance and airspeed were not attained. That was probably because the degraded aircraft performance, or the
associated risk, were not recognised by the pilots occupying the control seats.
• It is likely that the method of simulating the engine failure and pilot control inputs, together or in isolation, led to reduced single engine aircraft performance and asymmetric loss of control.
• Not following the recommended procedure for simulating an engine failure in the Cessna 441 pilot’s operating handbook meant that there was insufficient height to recover following the loss of control.
Other factors that increased risk:
• The Rossair training and checking manual procedure for a simulated engine failure in a turboprop aircraft was inappropriate and, if followed, increased the risk of asymmetric control loss.
• The flying operations inspector was not in a control seat and did not share a communication systems with the crew. Consequently, he had reduced ability to actively monitor the flight and
communicate any identified performance degradation.
• The inductee pilot had limited recent experience in the Cessna 441, and the chief pilot had an extended time period between being training and being tested as a check pilot on this aircraft. While both pilots performed the same exercise during a practice flight the week before, it is probable that these two factors led to a degradation in the skills required to safely perform and monitor the simulated engine failure exercise.
• The chief pilot and other key operational managers within Rossair were experiencing high levels of workload and pressure during the months leading up to the accident.
• In the 5 years leading up to the accident, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority had conducted numerous regulatory service tasks for the air transport operator and had regular communication with the operator’s chief pilots and other personnel. However, it had not conducted a systemic or detailed audit during that period, and its focus on a largely informal and often undocumented approach to oversight increased the risk that organisational or systemic issues associated with the operator would not be effectively identified and addressed.
Other findings:
• A lack of recorded data from this aircraft reduced the available evidence about handling aspects and cockpit communications. This limited the extent to which potential factors contributing to the accident could be analysed.
Final Report:

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 Grumman G-73 Mallard in Perth: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jan 26, 2017
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-CQA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Serpentine - Serpentine
MSN:
J-35
YOM:
1948
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The aircraft left Serpentine Airfield at 1628LT with a pilot and his wife on board. They were performing a demo flight vertical to Perth and the Swan River to take part to the Australian Day celebrations. While cruising at an altitude of about 150 feet, the pilot attempted a turn to the left when the aircraft lost height and crashed in a near vertical attitude into the Swan River. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact and both occupants were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 208 Caravan I in Whitsunday Island

Date & Time: Jan 28, 2016 at 1530 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-WTY
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Hamilton Island - Whitsunday Island
MSN:
208-0522
YOM:
2010
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The single engine float equipped aircraft left the harbor of Hamilton Island on a local flight to the neighboring island of Whitsunday with a pilot and 10 tourists on board. The approach to the Chance Bay was tricky with rough sea. Upon landing, the seaplane bounced several times and then continued over the beach. It eventually went into a wooded area, cut several trees and came to rest in a forest. Six occupants were injured while five others were unhurt. The aircraft was destroyed.

Crash of a De Havilland DH.84 Dragon near Gympie: 6 killed

Date & Time: Oct 1, 2012 at 1421 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-UXG
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Monto - Caboolture
MSN:
6077
YOM:
1934
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
1134
Captain / Total hours on type:
662.00
Circumstances:
At about 1107 Eastern Standard Time on 01OCT2012, a de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd DH-84 Dragon, registered VH-UXG (UXG), took off from Monto on a private flight to Caboolture, Queensland under the visual flight rules (VFR). On board the aircraft were the pilot/owner and five passengers. The weather conditions on departure were reported to include a light south-easterly wind with a high overcast and good visibility. Sometime after about 1230, the aircraft was seen near Tansey, about 150 km north-west of Caboolture on the direct track from Monto to Caboolture. The aircraft was reported flying in a south-easterly direction at the time, at an estimated height of 3,000 ft and in fine but overcast conditions. At 1315, the pilot contacted Brisbane Radar air traffic control (ATC) and advised that the aircraft’s position was about 37 NM (69 km) north of Caboolture and requested navigation assistance. At 1318, the pilot advised ATC that the aircraft was in ‘full cloud’. For most of the remainder of the flight, the pilot and ATC exchanged communications, at times relayed through a commercial flight and a rescue flight in the area due to the limited ATC radio coverage in the area at low altitude. At about 1320, a friend of one of the aircraft’s passengers received a telephone call from the passenger to say that she was in an aircraft and that they were ‘lost in a cloud’ and kept losing altitude. Witnesses in the Borumba Dam, Imbil and Kandanga areas 70 to 80 km north-north-west of Caboolture later reported that they heard and briefly saw the aircraft flying in and out of low cloud between about 1315 and 1415. At 1348, the pilot advised ATC that the aircraft had about an hour’s endurance remaining. The pilot’s last recorded transmission was at 1404. A search for the aircraft was coordinated by Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR). The aircraft wreckage was located on 3 October 2012, about 87 km north-west of Caboolture on the northern side of a steep, densely wooded ridge about 500 m above mean sea level (Figure 1). The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) later determined that the aircraft probably impacted terrain at about 1421 on 01OCT2012. Preliminary analysis indicated that the aircraft collided with trees and terrain at a moderate to high speed, with a left angle of bank. The aircraft’s direction of travel at impact was toward the south-south-west.