Country
code

Tasmania

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, he 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 Gippsland GA8 Airvan in Lady Barron

Date & Time: Oct 15, 2010 at 1715 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-DQP
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Lady Barron - Bridport
MSN:
GA8-05-075
YOM:
2005
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
2590
Captain / Total hours on type:
1355.00
Circumstances:
The pilot was conducting a charter flight from Lady Barron, Flinders Island to Bridport, Tasmania with six passengers on board. The aircraft departed Lady Barron Aerodrome at about 1700 Australian Eastern Daylight-saving Time and entered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) several minutes afterwards while climbing to the intended cruising altitude of about 1,500 ft. The pilot did not hold a command instrument rating and the aircraft was not equipped for flight in IMC. He attempted to turn the aircraft to return to Lady Barron Aerodrome but became lost, steering instead towards high ground in the Strzelecki National Park in the south-east of Flinders Island. At about 1715, the aircraft exited cloud in the Strzelecki National Park, very close to the ground. The pilot turned to the left, entering a small valley in which he could neither turn the aircraft nor out climb the terrain. He elected to slow the aircraft to its stalling speed for a forced landing and, moments later, it impacted the tree tops and then the ground. The first passenger to exit the aircraft used the aircraft fire extinguisher to put out a small fire that had begun beneath the engine. The
other passengers and the pilot then exited the aircraft safely. One passenger was slightly injured during the impact; the pilot and other passengers were uninjured. During the night, all of the occupants of the aircraft were rescued by helicopter and taken to the hospital in Whitemark, Flinders Island.
Probable cause:
Contributing safety factors:
• The weather was marginal for flight under the visual flight rules, with broken cloud forecast down to 500 ft above mean sea level in the area.
• The pilot, who did not hold a command instrument rating, entered instrument meteorological conditions because he was adhering to an un-written operator rule not to fly below 1,000 ft above ground level.
• The pilot became lost in cloud and flew the aircraft towards the Mt Strzelecki Range, exiting the cloud in very close proximity to the terrain.
• The aircraft exited the cloud in a small valley, within which the pilot could neither turn round nor out-climb the terrain.
Other key findings:
• The aircraft exited cloud before impacting terrain and with sufficient time for the pilot to execute a forced landing.
• The design of the aircraft’s seats, and the provision to passengers in the GA-8 Airvan of three-point automotive-type restraint harnesses with inertia reel shoulder straps contributed to the passengers’ survival, almost without injury.
Final Report:

Crash of a Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S in Hobart: 1 killed

Date & Time: Feb 19, 2004 at 1643 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-LST
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Hobart-Devonport
MSN:
500-3111
YOM:
1971
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
371
Captain / Total hours on type:
40.00
Circumstances:
Few minutes after takeoff, while flying 30 miles northwest from Hobart, the twin engine aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances. The pilot, on a ferry flight to Devonport, was killed.

Crash of a Piper PA-31 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 fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
5519
Captain / Total hours on type:
106.00

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Launceston: 6 killed

Date & Time: Sep 17, 1993 at 1943 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-WGI
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne - Launceston
MSN:
31-7305075
YOM:
1973
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
9
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
701
Captain / Total hours on type:
3.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8712
Circumstances:
Members of a football club had planned to visit Launceston, travelling by light aircraft. Three aircraft were needed to carry the group, with all passengers and pilots contributing to the cost of the aircraft hire. One of the club members, who was a pilot, organised the required aircraft and additional pilots for departure from Moorabbin Airport on the afternoon of 17 September 1993. The operator from whom the aircraft were hired, who also employed the organising pilot as an instructor, arranged for one Piper PA-23 (VH-PAC), a Piper PA-31-310 (VH-NOS) and a Piper PA-31-350 (VH-WGI) to be available for the trip, with the organising pilot to fly VH-WGI. On the day of the flight the pilot of VH-WGI carried out pre-flight inspections, obtained the weather forecasts and submitted flight plans for all three aircraft. The flight plans for the two PA-31 aircraft were for flights operated in accordance with IFR procedures. The PA-23 was to operate in accordance with VFR procedures. The TAF for Launceston predicted 2 octas of stratocumulus cloud, base 2,000 ft and 3 octas of stratocumulus cloud, base 3,500 ft. The flight plan for VH-WGI (see fig. 2) indicated that the aircraft would track Moorabbin Wonthaggi-Bass-Launceston and cruise at an altitude of 9,000 ft. A cruise TAS of 160 kts, total plan flight time of 90 minutes, endurance 155 minutes and Type of Operation 'G' (private category flight) were specified. No alternate aerodrome was nominated and none was required. The estimated time of departure was 1730. The flight plan was submitted to the CAA by facsimile at 1529. Last light at Launceston was 1919. VH-WGI departed Moorabbin at 1817 and climbed to an en-route cruise altitude of 9,000 ft. The pilot was required to report at Wonthaggi but passed this position at 1832 without reporting. Melbourne ATC tried unsuccessfully to contact the pilot because of this missed report. Later, the Melbourne radar controller noticed the aircraft deviating left of track but was unable to make contact. Communications were re-established at 1858 when the pilot called Melbourne FS saying he had experienced a radio problem. By this time the aircraft heading had been corrected to regain track. At 1927 the pilot called Launceston Tower and was cleared for a DME arrival along the inbound track of the Launceston VOR 325 radial. The Launceston ATIS indicated 2 octas of cloud at 800 ft, QNH 1,012 hPa, wind 320° at 5-10 kts, temperature +10° and runway 32 in use. At 1930 the ADC advised the pilot that the 2 octas of cloud were clear of the inbound track, but that there was some lower cloud forming just north of the field, possibly on track. He informed the pilot that there was a chance he might not be visual by the VOR, in which case he would need to perform an ILS approach via the Nile locator beacon. The ADC contacted the airport meteorological observer at 1933, inquiring as to what the 1930 searchlight check of cloud height had revealed. He was told the observation indicated 7 octas of cloud at about 800 ft. At 1935.52 (time in hours, minutes and seconds) the ADC asked the pilot for his DME (distance) and level. The pilot responded that he was at 12 DME and 3,300 ft. The ADC told the pilot that conditions were deteriorating with probably 4 octas at 800 ft at the field. He then told the pilot he would hopefully get a break in the cloud, but then restated that if he was not visual by the VOR to make a missed approach, track to Nile and climb to 3,000 ft. At 1939.45 the pilot was again asked for his DME and level. He indicated that he was at 1,450 ft and 2-3 DME. He then also confirmed that he was still in IMC. There were three other aircraft inbound for Launceston and the ADC made an all-stations broadcast that conditions were deteriorating at Launceston, with 4 octas at 800 ft, and to expect an ILS approach. At 1940.56 the pilot stated that he was overhead the field, but did not have it sighted and was going around. At 1941.07 the pilot reported that he had the airfield in sight and at 1941.16 that he was positioned above the final approach for runway 32. Fifteen seconds later the pilot reported that he was opposite the tower and was advised by the ADC that he was cleared for a visual approach, or a missed approach to Nile as preferred. The pilot indicated he would take the visual approach and was then told to manoeuvre as preferred for runway 32. This was acknowledged at 1941.48. No further communications were received from the pilot. The ADC made a broadcast to two other inbound aircraft at 1942.32, advising that VH-WGI was in the circuit ahead of them, that it had become visual about half a mile south of the VOR, that it was manoeuvring for a visual approach and was just in and out of the base of the cloud. After the pilot of VH-WGI reported over the field, and the aircraft first appeared out of cloud, witnesses observed it track to about the south-east end of the aerodrome at a height of about 500-800 ft. It then turned left to track north-west on the north-east side of the main runway and approximately over the grass runway. The aircraft was seen to be travelling at high speed, and passing through small areas of cloud. North of the main terminal building a left turn was initiated onto a close downwind leg for runway 32. The aircraft appeared to descend while on this leg. As the base turn was started, at a height estimated as 300-500 ft, the aircraft briefly went through cloud. Some of the witnesses reported that the engine noise from the aircraft during the approach was fairly loud, suggestive of a high power setting. Late on a left base leg the aircraft was observed to be in a steep left bank, probably in the order of 60°, at a height of about 200 ft. It then descended rapidly and struck a powerline with the right wing, approximately 28 ft AGL, resulting in an airport electrical power failure at 1943.02. Almost simultaneously the left wing struck bushes. A short distance beyond the powerlines the aircraft struck the ground and slid to a stop. A fierce fire broke out immediately. Airport fire services responded to the accident and the fire was quickly extinguished. Six of the occupants received fatal injuries and the others, including the pilot, were seriously injured.
Probable cause:
The following findings were reported:
1. The actual weather at Launceston at the time of arrival of VH-WGI was significantly worse than forecast.
2. The pilot did not have the required recent experience to conduct either an IFR flight or an ILS approach. The operator's procedures did not detect this deficiency.
3. The pilot's inexperience and limited endorsement training did not adequately prepare him for IFR flight in the conditions encountered.
4. The CAA did not specify adequate endorsement training or minimum endorsement time requirements for aircraft of the class of the PA-31-350, particularly in regard to the endorsement of inexperienced pilots.
5. An absence of significant decision-making training requirements contributed to the poor decision-making action by the pilot who decided to continue with a visual circling approach at Launceston in conditions that were unsuitable for such an approach.
6. As a consequence of continuing the approach, the pilot subjected himself to an overwhelming workload. This was due to a combination of adverse weather conditions, his lack of training and experience in IFR approach procedures on the type, and a misinterpretation of (or non-compliance with) the AIP/DAP-IAL instructions, a combination which appears to have influenced the pilot to fly a close-in, descending circuit at low altitude. The carriage of alcohol-affected passengers may have also added to the level of difficulty.
7. Because of workload, and possibly also due to distractions, the pilot inadvertently allowed the aircraft to enter a rapid descent at a critical stage of the approach, at an altitude from which recovery could not be effected.
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 DH.114 Heron 2D in Launceston

Date & Time: Aug 4, 1983
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-CLY
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Hobart - Launceston
MSN:
14122
YOM:
1957
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Launceston Airport, the aircraft was misaligned and the crew decided to initiate a go-around procedure. Gear were retracted and flaps were partially raised when the airplane lost height and struck fences. It crash landed and came to rest on the runway. All seven occupants escaped with minor injuries and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Rockwell Shrike Commander 500S off Hobart

Date & Time: Apr 27, 1981 at 1814 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-EXQ
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Melbourne – Hobart
MSN:
500-1831
YOM:
1968
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1925
Captain / Total hours on type:
77.00
Circumstances:
Due to industrial action, normal domestic airline services had been suspended. The pilot hired the aircraft to convey persons stranded by the strike between Hobart and Melbourne. He submitted a flight plan for the proposed return flight to Melbourne that nominated operations under the Instrument Flight Rules, although he did not hold an appropriate Instrument Rating. The flight to Melbourne was completed without known incident. After refuelling the aircraft and engaging five passengers, the return flight was commenced. A fare was paid by each passenger although the pilot did not hold either a Charter Licence or an appropriate pilot licence. There was considerable cloud in the vicinity of Hobart Airport which, at 1800 hours, was recorded as one okta stratus, base 800 feet; five oktas stratocumulus, base 3000 feet; five oktas altocumulus, base 11,000 feet. The surface wind was a light westerly, and the runway in use was Runway 30. There were rain showers in the area and the runway was wet. The end of daylight was at approximately 1748 hours. When the pilot of VH-EXQ contacted Hobart Tower at approximately 1800 hours, he reported on descent to 7000 feet and 50km from the airport. As the aircraft proceeded, the Aerodrome Controller cleared it for further descent in stages, to provide vertical separation from a preceding aircraft. The only Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach at Hobart Airport was aligned with Runway 12 and the tailwind for a landing in that direction was only two or three knots. In order to expedite their arrivals, the Aerodrome Controller offered the pilot s of both approaching aircraft the option of a straight-in ILS approach to Runway 12 instead of a circling approach to the into-wind Runway 30. Both pilots accepted. At 1803 hours, the preceding aircraft was cleared for an ILS approach. The pilot of VH-EXQ was then advised to expect the same clearance but, to ensure continued separation from the other aircraft, was instructed to make one circuit of the holding pattern at Tea Tree Locator, a navigational radio aid west of the airport. The pilot misunderstood this instruction and, on reaching Tea Tree at about 1805 hours, he continued towards the airport. At 1807 hours, the Aerodrome Controller cleared VH-EXQ for an ILS approach. The pilot acknowledged this instruction in the normal manner and did not advise that he had already commenced the approach. In descending towards the airport the pilot had maintained a high airspeed of nearly 200 knots. From overhead Tea Tree he could see the lights of the preceding aircraft and endeavoured to reduce his speed so as to maintain separation. As a result, the aircraft was still very high as it approached the runway. This was noted by the Aerodrome Controller and, at 1810 hours, he asked the pilot whether he would be able to land on Runway 12 or would prefer to make an approach for Runway 30. The pilot chose the latter and was cleared to a right base leg for Runway 30. The approach to Runway 12 was abandoned and the aircraft turned left onto a close right downwind leg for Runway 30. The landing gear, which had been extended, and the flaps, which had been set at 1/4 down, were not moved from these positions. The pilot reported that at some stage of the approach to Runway 30 he moved the throttles forward to increase power and maintain height. In response the aircraft yawed slightly to the right. Both propeller levers were then pushed fully forward, both throttles were fully opened and the mixture controls were checked in the full-rich position. The aircraft again swung to the right. Identifying this as evidence that the right engine had failed, and after checking from the tachometer that the right propeller was windmilling at about 1500 RPM, the pilot feathered the right propeller and selected the landing gear and flaps up. He believed that he carried out the feathering action at a height of about 300 feet and an airspeed of about 100 knots. At this time the aircraft was heading southwest, towards Single Hill (elevation 680 feet) on the shore of Frederick Henry Bay. The pilot reported that the aircraft would not maintain height or airspeed and he therefore turned left to avoid the hill. The wings were then held level until the aircraft touched down in the bay. After the aircraft turned right at a close base leg position, but then straightened on a southwesterly heading instead of continuing the turn onto final approach, the Aerodrome Controller asked the pilot to confirm that he was tracking for Runway 30. This transmission was not answered and the Aerodrome Controller again called the aircraft. The pilot then reported that he was having trouble with the right engine and he was going to feather. This transmission was made as the aircraft was approaching Single Hill, just before it turned left and descended from view. There were no further transmissions from the aircraft despite a number of calls by the Aerodrome Controller. The Distress Phase of Search and Rescue (SAR) procedures was declared at 1815 hours. The appropriate emergency services were alerted including a helicopter that was on standby for SAR operations. All six occupants were rescued while the aircraft sank and was lost.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of the accident was that, following an apparent loss of power by the right engine, the pilot did not operate the aircraft in the configuration and at the airspeed necessary for safe single-engine flight. The pilot's responses may have been Influenced by operating under Instrument Flight Rules conditions, for which he was not qualified. The cause of the reported loss of power by the right engine was not determined. The following defects were discovered:
- General mechanical wear in left engine,
- Left engine fuel injector system outside manufacturer's specifications,
- Slight timing fault in one magneto on right engine.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 402B in Queenstown

Date & Time: May 30, 1979
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-KIB
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne – Smithton – Queenstown
MSN:
402B-0518
YOM:
1973
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On approach to Queenstown, the twin engine airplane went into clouds. The pilot initiated a go-around when the airplane struck dead trees and crashed on Mt Sorrell. All three occupants were slightly injured and evacuated while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

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.