Country
code

New South Wales

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 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 Gippsland GA-8 Airvan in Orange

Date & Time: Jul 6, 2010 at 1745 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-YBH
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Parkes - Orange
MSN:
GA8-08-131
YOM:
2008
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Pilot was performing a cargo flight from Parkes to Orange, New South Wales. On final approach, single engine aircraft was too low and hit the roof of a metal hangar located near the runway threshold. Aircraft stalled, hit the runway surface and lost its nose gear. It veered off runway and eventually collided with a metal hangar under construction. While the pilot was injured, the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the pilot.

Crash of a Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave in Bankstown: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 15, 2010 at 0805 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-PGW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Bankstown - Brisbane - Albury
MSN:
31-8414036
YOM:
1984
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2435
Captain / Total hours on type:
779.00
Aircraft flight hours:
6266
Circumstances:
Twin engine aircraft, with a pilot and a flight nurse on board, was being operated by Skymaster Air Services under the instrument flight rules (IFR) on a flight from Bankstown Airport, New South Wales (NSW) to Archerfield Airport, Queensland. The aircraft was being positioned to Archerfield for a medical patient transfer flight from Archerfield to Albury, NSW. The aircraft departed Bankstown at 0740 Eastern Standard Time. At 0752, the pilot reported to air traffic control (ATC) that he was turning the aircraft around as he was having ‘a few problems. At about 0806, the aircraft collided with a powerline support pole located on the eastern side of the intersection of Sackville Street and Canley Vale Road, Canley Vale, NSW. The pilot and flight nurse sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed by impact damage and a post-impact fire.
Probable cause:
• While the aircraft was climbing to 9,000 ft the right engine sustained a power problem and the pilot subsequently shut down that engine.
• Following the shutdown of the right engine, the aircraft's descent profile was not optimized for one engine inoperative flight.
• The pilot conducted a descent towards Bankstown Airport that was consistent with a normal arrival profile without first verifying that the aircraft was capable of achieving adequate performance with one engine inoperative.
• Following the engine problem, the aircraft's flightpath and the pilot’s communication with air traffic control indicated that the pilot's situation awareness was less than optimal.
• The aircraft collided with a powerline support pole on the eastern side of the intersection of Sackville Street and Canley Vale Road, Canley Vale, about 6 km north-west of Bankstown Airport.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain in Bathurst: 4 killed

Date & Time: Nov 7, 2008 at 2024 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OPC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne-Bathurst-Port Macquarie
MSN:
31-7952082
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
2061
Aircraft flight hours:
11000
Circumstances:

The twin engine aircraft crashed shortly after take off from Bathurst airport, outbound for Port Macquarie. The aircraft hit trees and crashed in an open field located 3 km from airport. All 4 occupants were killed. According ATSB, investigation was unable to establish why the aircraft collided with terrain; however, pilot spatial disorientation or pilot incapacitation could not be discounted.

Crash of a Swearingen SA227AC Metro III off Sydney: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 9, 2008 at 2327 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OZA
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sydney – Brisbane
MSN:
AC-600
YOM:
1984
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4873
Captain / Total hours on type:
175.00
Aircraft flight hours:
32339
Aircraft flight cycles:
46710
Circumstances:
On 9 April 2008, at 2325 Eastern Standard Time, a Fairchild Industries Inc. SA227-AC (Metro III) aircraft, registered VH-OZA, departed Sydney Airport, New South Wales on a freight charter flight to Brisbane, Queensland with one pilot on board. The aircraft was subsequently observed on radar to be turning right, contrary to air traffic control instructions to turn left to an easterly heading. The pilot reported that he had a ‘slight technical fault’ and no other transmissions were heard from the pilot. Recorded radar data showed the aircraft turning right and then left, followed by a descent and climb, a second right turn and a second descent before radar returns were lost when the aircraft was at an altitude of 3,740 ft above mean sea level and descending at over 10,000 ft/min. Air traffic control initiated search actions and search vessels later recovered a small amount of aircraft wreckage floating in the ocean, south of the last recorded radar position. The pilot was presumed to be fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed. Both of the aircraft’s on-board flight recorders were subsequently recovered from the ocean floor. They contained data from a number of previous flights, but not for the accident flight. There was no evidence of a midair breakup of the aircraft.
Probable cause:
Contributing Safety Factors:
- It was very likely that the aircraft’s alternating current electrical power system was not energised at any time during the flight.
- It was very likely that the aircraft became airborne without a functioning primary attitude reference or autopilot that, combined with the added workload of managing the ‘slight technical fault’, led to pilot spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control.
Other Safety Factors:
- The pilot’s Metro III endorsement training was not conducted in accordance with the operator’s approved training and checking manual, with the result that the pilot’s competence and ultimately, safety of the operation could not be assured. [Significant safety issue].
- The chief pilot was performing the duties and responsibilities of several key positions in the operator’s organisational structure, increasing the risk of omissions in the operator’s training and checking requirements.
- The conduct of the flight single-pilot increased the risk of errors of omission, such as not turning on or noticing the failure of aircraft items and systems, or complying with directions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain near Condobolin: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 2, 2005 at 1350 LT
Registration:
VH-PYN
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Brisbane – Swan Hill
MSN:
31-8252075
YOM:
1982
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
4600
Captain / Total hours on type:
1000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2900
Circumstances:
On 2 December 2005, at 1122 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-31-350 Chieftain aircraft, registered VH-PYN (PYN), departed Archerfield, Qld, on a private flight to Griffith, NSW. The flight was planned under the instrument flight rules (IFR). On board the aircraft were the pilot, two passengers and an observer-pilot who was on the flight to gain knowledge of the aircraft operation. The aircraft tracked direct to Moree and then Coonamble at 10,000 ft, in accordance with the flight plan. At 1303, the pilot amended the destination to Swan Hill, Vic, tracking via Hillston, NSW. At 1314, the pilot advised air traffic control that the aircraft had passed overhead Coonamble at 1312 maintaining 10,000 ft, and was estimating Hillston at 1418. At 1316, the pilot reported that he was tracking 5 NM (9 km) left of track due to weather. At 1337, the pilot advised that he was diverting up to 20 NM (37 km) left of track due to weather. At 1348, the pilot reported that he was diverting 29 NM (54 km) left of track, again due to weather. No further radio transmission from the pilot was heard. At about 1400, police received a report that an aircraft had crashed on a property approximately 28 km north of Condobolin, NSW. The extensively burned wreckage was subsequently confirmed as PYN. Other wreckage, spread along a trail up to 4 km from the main wreckage, was located the following day. Examination of air traffic control recorded radar data indicated that the aircraft entered radar coverage about 50 km north of Condobolin at 1346:34. The last valid radar data from the secondary surveillance radar located on Mount Bobbara was at 1349:53. During that 3 minute 19 second period, the recorded aircraft track was approximately 56 km left of the Coonamble to Hillston track and showed a change in direction from southerly to south-westerly. The aircraft’s groundspeed was in the range between 200 and 220 kts. The aircraft’s altitude remained steady at 10,000 ft. The last recorded radar position of the aircraft was approaching the limit of predicted radar coverage and was within 10 km of the location of the main aircraft wreckage. Earlier that day, the aircraft had departed Bendigo, Vic, at 0602 and arrived at Archerfield at 1034. The pilot and the observer-pilot were on board. The aircraft was refuelled to full tanks with 314 litres of aviation gasoline at Archerfield. The refuelling agent reported that the main and auxiliary tanks were full at the completion of refuelling. He also reported that the pilots had commented that the forecast for their return flight indicated that weather conditions would be ‘patchy’.
Probable cause:
Contributing factors:
• A line of thunderstorms crossed the aircraft’s intended track.
• The aircraft was operating in the vicinity of thunderstorm cells.
• In circumstances that could not be determined, the aircraft’s load limits were exceeded, causing structural failure of the airframe.
Other safety factors:
• Air traffic control procedures, did not require the SIGMET information to be passed to the aircraft.
• There were shortcomings in the Airservices Australia Hazard Alert procedures and guidelines for assessing SIGMET information.
• Air traffic control procedures for the dissemination of SIGMET information contained in the Aeronautical Information Publication were inconsistent with procedures contained in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Doc. 4444 and ICAO Doc. 7030.
Other key findings:
• The aircraft was not equipped with weather radar or lightning strike detection systems.
• The pilot did not make any request for additional information regarding the weather to air traffic services.
• The pilot in command was occupying the right cockpit seat and the observer- pilot the left cockpit seat at the time of the breakup, but that arrangement was not considered to have influenced the development of the accident.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-61 Aerostar (Ted Smith 601) off Byron Bay: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jan 27, 2004 at 1335 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-WRF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Coolangatta - Coolangatta
MSN:
61-0497-128
YOM:
1978
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
7127
Captain / Total hours on type:
308.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
283
Copilot / Total hours on type:
3
Circumstances:
The Ted Smith Aerostar 601 aircraft, registered VH-WRF, departed Coolangatta at 1301 ESuT with a flight instructor and a commercial pilot on board. The aircraft was being operated on a dual training flight in the Byron Bay area, approximately 55 km south-south-east of Coolangatta. The aircraft was operating outside controlled airspace and was not being monitored by air traffic control. The weather in the area was fine with a south-easterly wind at 10 - 12 kts, with scattered cloud in the area with a base of between 2,000 and 2,500 ft. The purpose of the flight was to introduce the commercial pilot, who was undertaking initial multi-engine training, to asymmetric flight. At approximately 1445, the operator advised Australian Search and Rescue that the aircraft had not returned to Coolangatta, and that it was overdue. Recorded radar information by Airservices Australia revealed that the aircraft had disappeared from radar coverage at 1335. Its position at that time was approximately 18 km east-south-east of Cape Byron. Search vessels later recovered items that were identified as being from the aircraft in the vicinity of the last recorded position of the aircraft. Those items included aircraft checklist pages, a blanket, a seat cushion from the cabin, as well as a number of small pieces of cabin insulation material. No item showed any evidence of heat or fire damage. No further trace of the aircraft was found.
Probable cause:
Without the aircraft wreckage or more detailed information regarding the behaviour of the aircraft in the final stages of the flight, there was insufficient information available to allow any conclusion to be drawn about the development of the accident. Many possible explanations exist. The fact that no radio transmission was received from the aircraft around the time radar contact was lost could indicate that the aircraft was involved in a sudden or unexpected event at that time that prevented the crew from operating the radio. The speed regime of the aircraft during the last recorded data points indicated that airframe failure due to aerodynamic overload was unlikely. The nature of the items from the aircraft that were recovered from the ocean surface indicated that the aircraft cabin had been ruptured during the accident sequence.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft B200C Super King Air in Coffs Harbour

Date & Time: May 15, 2003 at 0833 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-AMR
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Sydney – Coffs Harbour
MSN:
BL-126
YOM:
1985
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
18638
Captain / Total hours on type:
460.00
Circumstances:
The aircraft impacted the sea or a reef about 6 km north-east of Coffs Harbour airport. The impact occurred immediately after the pilot initiated a go-around during an instrument approach to runway 21 in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) that included heavy rain and restricted visibility. Although the aircraft sustained structural damage and the left main gear detached, the aircraft remained airborne. During the initial go-around climb, the aircraft narrowly missed a breakwater and adjacent restaurant at the Coffs Harbour boat harbour. Shortly after, the pilot noticed that the primary attitude indicator had failed, requiring him to refer to the standby instrument to recover from an inadvertent turn. The pilot positioned the aircraft over the sea and held for about 30 minutes before returning to Coffs Harbour and landing the damaged aircraft on runway 21. There were no injuries or any other damage to property and/or the environment because of the accident. The aircraft was on a routine aeromedical flight from Sydney to Coffs Harbour with the pilot, two flight nurses, and a stretcher patient on board. The flight was conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR) in predominantly instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). During the descent, the enroute air traffic controller advised the pilot to expect the runway 21 Global Positioning System (GPS) non-precision approach (NPA). The pilot reported that he reviewed the approach diagram and planned a 3-degree descent profile. He noted the appropriate altitudes, including the correct minimum descent altitude (MDA) of 580 ft, on a reference card. A copy of the approach diagram used by the pilot is at Appendix A. The aerodrome controller advised the pilot of the possibility of a holding pattern due to a preceding IFR aircraft being sequenced for an instrument approach to runway 21. The controller subsequently advised that holding would not be required if the initial approach fix (SCHNC)2 was reached not before 0825. At about 0818, the aerodrome controller advised the pilot of the preceding aircraft that the weather conditions in the area of the final approach were a visibility of 5000 m and an approximate cloud base of 1,000 ft. At 0825 the aerodrome controller cleared the pilot of the King Air to track the aircraft from the initial approach fix to the intermediate fix (SCHNI) and to descend to not below 3,500 ft. The published minimum crossing altitude was 3,600 ft. About one minute later the pilot reported that he was leaving 5,500 ft and was established inbound on the approach. At 0828 the pilot reported approaching the intermediate fix and 3,500 ft. The controller advised that further descent was not available until the preceding aircraft was visible from the tower. At 0829 the controller, having sighted the preceding aircraft, cleared the pilot of the King Air to continue descent to 2,500 ft. The pilot advised the controller that he was 2.2 NM from the final approach fix (SCHNF). At that point an aircraft on a 3-degree approach slope to the threshold would be at about 2,500 ft. The controller then cleared the pilot for the runway 21 GPS approach, effectively a clearance to descend as required. The pilot subsequently explained that he was high on his planned 3-degree descent profile because separation with the preceding aircraft resulted in a late descent clearance. He had hand flown the approach, and although he recalled setting the altitude alerter to the 3,500 ft and 2,500 ft clearance limits, he could not recall setting the 580 ft MDA. He stated that he had not intended to descend below the MDA until he was visual, and that he had started to scan outside the cockpit at about 800 ft altitude in expectation of becoming visual. The pilot recalled levelling the aircraft, but a short time later experienced a 'sinking feeling'. That prompted him to go-around by advancing the propeller and engine power levers, and establishing the aircraft in a nose-up attitude. The passenger in the right front seat reported experiencing a similar 'falling sensation' and observed the pilot's altimeter moving rapidly 'down through 200 ft' before it stopped at about 50 ft. She saw what looked like a beach and exclaimed 'land' about the same time as the pilot applied power. The pilot felt a 'thump' just after he had initiated the go-around. The passenger recalled feeling a 'jolt' as the aircraft began to climb. Witnesses on the northern breakwater of the Coffs Harbour boat harbour observed an aircraft appear out of the heavy rain and mist from the north-east. They reported that it seemed to strike the breakwater wall and then passed over an adjacent restaurant at a very low altitude before it was lost from sight. Wheels from the left landing gear were seen to ricochet into the air and one of the two wheels was seen to fall into the water. The other wheel was found lodged among the rocks of the breakwater.During the go-around the pilot unsuccessfully attempted to raise the landing gear, so he reselected the landing gear selector to the 'down' position. He was unable to retract the wing flaps. It was then that he experienced a strong g-force and realised that he was in a turn. He saw that the primary attitude indicator had 'toppled' and referred to the standby attitude indicator, which showed that the aircraft was in a 70-degree right bank. He rapidly regained control of the aircraft and turned it onto an easterly heading, away from land. The inverter fail light illuminated but the pilot did not recall any associated master warning annunciator. He then selected the number-2 inverter to restore power to the primary attitude indicator, and it commenced to operate normally. The pilot observed that the left main landing gear had separated from the aircraft. He continued to manoeuvre over water while awaiting an improvement in weather conditions that would permit a visual approach. About 4 minutes after the King Air commenced the go-around, the aerodrome controller received a telephone call advising that a person at the Coffs Harbour boat harbour had witnessed an aircraft flying low over the harbour, and that the aircraft had '…hit something and the wheel came off'. The controller contacted the pilot, who confirmed that the aircraft was damaged. The controller declared a distress phase and activated the emergency response services to position for the aircraft's landing. Witnesses reported that the landing was smooth. As the aircraft came to rest on the runway, foam was applied around the aircraft to minimise the likelihood of fire. The occupants exited the aircraft through the main cabin door.
Probable cause:
This occurrence is a CFIT accident resulting from inadvertent descent below the MDA on the final segment of a non-precision approach, fortunately without the catastrophic consequences normally associated with such events. The investigation was unable to conclusively determine why the aircraft descended below the MDA while in IMC, or why the descent continued until CFIT could no longer be avoided. However, the investigation identified a number of factors that influenced, or had the potential to influence, the development of the occurrence.
Final Report:

Crash of an Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante in Cootamundra

Date & Time: Jun 25, 2001 at 1021 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OZG
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Sydney – Griffith
MSN:
110-241
YOM:
1980
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6850
Captain / Total hours on type:
253.00
Circumstances:
The Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante, VH-OZG, departed from Sydney Kingsford Smith international airport at 0855 on 25 June 2001, on a single-pilot instrument flight rules (IFR) charter flight to Griffith. The nine occupants on board the aircraft included the pilot and eight passengers. At about 0945, while maintaining an altitude of 10,000 ft, the master caution light illuminated. At the same time, the multiple alarm panel ‘GENERATOR 2’ (right generator) warning light also illuminated, indicating that the generator was no longer supplying power to the main electrical bus bar. After resetting the generator and monitoring its output, the pilot was satisfied that it was operating normally. A short time later, the master warning light illuminated again. A number of circuit breakers tripped, accompanied by multiple master alarm panel warnings. The red ‘FIRE’ warning light on the right engine fire extinguisher ‘T’ handle also illuminated, accompanied by the aural fire alarm warning. The pilot reported that after silencing the aural fire alarm, he carried out the engine fire emergency checklist actions. However, he was unable to select the fuel cut-off position with the right fuel condition lever, despite overriding the locking mechanism using his left thumb while attempting to operate the lever with his right hand. He also reported that the propeller lever did not remain in the feathered detent, but moved forward, as if spring-loaded, to an intermediate position. After unsuccessfully attempting to select fuel cut-off with the right fuel condition lever, or feather the right propeller with the propeller lever, the pilot pulled the right ‘T’ handle to discharge the fire bottle. The amber discharge light illuminated and a short time later the fire alarm sounded again. Passengers reported seeing lights illuminated on the multiple alarm panel and heard the sound of a continuous fire alarm in the cockpit. At 0956, the pilot notified air traffic services (ATS) that there was a ‘problem’ with the aircraft, but did not specify the nature of that problem. Almost immediately the pilot transmitted a PAN radio call and advised ATS that there was a fire on board the aircraft. The nearest aerodromes for an emergency landing were not available due to fog, and the pilot decided to divert to Young, which was about 35 NM to the south east of the aircraft’s position at that time. The pilot advised ATS that the fire was extinguished, and that he was diverting the aircraft to Young. Two minutes later, the pilot repeated his advice to ATS stating that a fire in the right engine had been extinguished, and requested emergency services for the aircraft’s arrival at Young. The pilot informed one of the passengers that there was an engine fire warning, and that they would be landing at Young. The passengers subsequently reported seeing flames in the right engine nacelle and white smoke streaming from under the wing. Smoke had also started to enter the cabin in the vicinity of the wing root. The pilot subsequently reported that he had selected the master switch on the air conditioning control panel to the ‘vent’ position, and that he had opened the left direct vision window in an attempt to eliminate smoke from the cabin. When that did not appear to have any effect he closed the direct vision window. The pilot of another aircraft reported to ATS that Young was clear, but there were fog patches to the north. On arrival at Young, however, the pilot of the Bandeirante was unable to land the aircraft because of fog, and advised ATS that he was proceeding to Cootamundra, 27 NM to the south southwest of Young. The crew of an overflying airliner informed ATS that Cootamundra was clear of fog. ATS confirmed that advice by telephoning an aircraft operator at Cootamundra aerodrome. At 1017 thick smoke entered the cabin and the pilot transmitted a MAYDAY. He reported that the aircraft was 9 NM from Cootamundra, and ATS informed him that the aerodrome was clear of fog. The pilot advised that he was flying in visual conditions and that there was a serious fire on board. No further radio transmissions were heard from the aircraft. At 1021, approximately 25 minutes after first reporting a fire, the pilot made an approach to land on runway 16 at Cootamundra. He reported that when he selected the landing gear down on late final there was no indication that the gear had extended. The pilot reported that he did not have sufficient time to extend the gear manually using the emergency procedure because he was anxious to get the aircraft on the ground as quickly as possible. Unaware that the right main landing gear had extended the pilot advised the passengers to prepare for a ‘belly’ landing. He lowered full flap, selected the propeller levers to the feathered position and the condition levers to fuel cut-off. The aircraft landed with only the right main landing gear extended. The right main wheel touched down about 260 m beyond the runway threshold, about one metre from the right edge of the runway. During the landing roll the aircraft settled on the nose and the left engine nacelle and skidded for approximately 450 m before veering left off the bitumen. The soft grass surface swung the aircraft sharply left, and it came to a stop on the grass flight strip east of the runway, almost on a reciprocal heading. The pilot and passengers were uninjured, and vacated the aircraft through the cabin door and left overwing emergency exit. Personnel from a maintenance organisation at the aerodrome extinguished the fire in the right engine nacelle using portable fire extinguishers.
Probable cause:
Significant factors:
1. Vibration from the worn armature shaft of the right starter generator resulted in a fractured fuel return line.
2. The armature shaft of the right engine starter generator failed in-flight.
3. Sparks or frictional heat generated by the failed starter generator ignited the combustible fuel/air mixture in the right engine accessory compartment.
4. Items on the engine fire emergency checklist were not completed, and the fire was not suppressed.
5. The operator’s CASA approved emergency checklist did not contain smoke evacuation procedures.
6. The pilot did not attempt to extend the landing gear using the emergency gear extension when he did not to get a positive indication that the gear was down and locked.
7. The aircraft landed on the right main landing gear and slid to a stop on the right main gear, left engine nacelle and nose.
Final Report: