Country
code

Victoria

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 Rockwell Aero Commander 500 in Clonbinane: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 31, 2007 at 2000 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-YJB
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne-Shepparton
MSN:
500-3299
YOM:
1977
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2342
Captain / Total hours on type:
970.00
Aircraft flight hours:
4558
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was performing a flight from Melbourne to Shepparton, Victoria State. In flight, the pilot lost control of the aircraft which crashed in a dense wooded area located near Clonbinane, 60 km north of Melbourne. Both occupants were killed.

Crash of a Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain in Mount Hotham: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jul 8, 2005 at 1725 LT
Operator:
Registration:
VH-OAO
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Melbourne-Mount Hotham
MSN:
31-8252021
YOM:
1982
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
4770
Captain / Total hours on type:
1269.00
Aircraft flight hours:
9137
Circumstances:

The twin engine aircraft was performing a special flight from Melbourne to Mount Hotham airfield, in the Victoria Alps. While descending in bad weather, the aircraft struck trees and crashed in a wooded area, 4 km south-east of airport. All occupants died. Among them was the Gold Coast multi-millionaire Brian Ray and his wife. The pilot accumulated 4,770 flying hours within 1,269 on PA-31.

Crash of a Piper PA-31 Cheyenne in Benalla: 6 killed

Date & Time: Jul 28, 2004 at 1048 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-TNP
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bankstown-Benalla
MSN:
31-7920026
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Captain / Total flying hours:
14017
Captain / Total hours on type:
3100.00
Aircraft flight hours:
5496
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was flying from Bankstown to Benalla with 5 pax and a pilot on board for D&R Henderson, a lumber company based in Sydney. On approach in low clouds and heavy rain, the aircraft struck a mountainous and wooded area located 34 km southeast of airport. All occupants were killed. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and post-impact fire.

Crash of a Cessna 208 Caravan I in Nagambie: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 29, 2001 at 1312 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-MMV
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Nagambie - Nagambie
MSN:
208-0003
YOM:
1985
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
11
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
4000
Captain / Total hours on type:
700.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8576
Circumstances:
Four parachutists were practising as a team for a skydiving competition. They had completed seven parachute descents prior to the accident flight. Each descent had been video recorded by a cameraman using a helmet-mounted camera. The parachutists used a Cessna Aircraft Company Caravan aircraft. That aircraft was climbed to 14,000 ft with the team of four parachutists, their cameraman, six other parachutists and the pilot. At the drop altitude, the team members carried out their ‘pin check’ in which each parachutist’s equipment was checked to ensure that the release pins for the main and reserve parachutes were correctly positioned. Approaching overhead the drop zone, a roller blind, which covered the exit doorway on the left side of the aircraft, and minimised windblast during the climb, was raised. The cameraman positioned himself on the step outside and to the rear of the exit doorway. The first three members of the team positioned themselves in the exit doorway. The team member nearest to the front of the aircraft faced out and the next two members faced into the aircraft. The team member in the middle grasped the jumpsuits of the adjacent parachutists. The fourth member was inside the aircraft facing the exit. As the team exited the aircraft, the middle parachutist’s reserve parachute’s pilot chute deployed. Due to the bent over position of that parachutist, the action of the ejector spring in the pilot chute pushed the chute upwards and over the horizontal stabiliser of the aircraft, pulling the reserve canopy with it. The parachutist passed below the horizontal stabiliser resulting in the reserve parachute risers and lines tangling around the left elevator and horizontal stabiliser. Eleven seconds later, the empennage separated from the aircraft and the left elevator and the parachutist separated from the empennage. The parachutist descended to the ground with the reserve and main parachutes entangled and landed 800 metres west of the drop zone landing strip. A short section of the elevator was tangled in the parachute lines. The parachutist’s rate of descent was estimated to be 3.6 times greater than that for an average parachutist under canopy. Immediately after the empennage separated, the aircraft entered a steep, nose-down spiral descent. The pilot instructed the remaining parachutists to abandon the aircraft. The last one left the aircraft before it descended through 9,000 ft. The pilot transmitted a mayday call, shutdown the engine and left his seat. On reaching the rear of the cabin, he found that the roller blind had closed, preventing him from leaving the aircraft. After several attempts, the pilot raised the blind sufficiently to allow him to exit the aircraft, and at an altitude of approximately 1,000 ft above ground level, he deployed his parachute and landed safely. The aircraft, minus the empennage, descended almost vertically and crashed on the drop zone landing strip. It was destroyed by impact forces and the post-impact fire. The empennage, in several pieces, landed 600 metres west of the landing strip. A Country Fire Authority fire vehicle arrived at the accident site within two minutes of the accident and extinguished the fire. The parachutist that had been entangled was fatally injured. The injuries sustained when entangled on the horizontal stabiliser made the parachutist incapable of operating the main parachute. The other parachutists and the pilot were uninjured.
Probable cause:
The following factors were identified:
- The parachutist’s reserve parachute deployed prematurely, probably as a result of the parachute container coming into contact with the aircraft doorframe/handrail.
- The reserve parachute risers and lines tangled around the horizontal stabiliser and elevator.
- The reserve canopy partially filled, applying to the aircraft empennage a load that exceeded its design limits.
- The empennage separated from the aircraft and the elevator separated from the empennage, releasing the parachutist and sending the aircraft out of control.
Final Report:

Crash of a Gippsland GA8 Airvan in Latrobe Valley

Date & Time: Feb 7, 1996 at 1845 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-PTR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Latrobe Valley - Latrobe Valley
MSN:
GA8-05-001
YOM:
1995
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6500
Captain / Total hours on type:
100.00
Circumstances:
The prototype GA-8 aircraft was undertaking test flying from the manufacturer's facility at the Latrobe Valley airfield. The test flying was scheduled by the designer under the provisions of a permit to fly approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. For a series of spin tests the aircraft was fitted with fixed and jettisonable ballast, a jettisonable pilot's door, and a tail mounted anti-spin parachute attached to a long lanyard. On this flight the aircraft was set up at 9,000 feet above ground level with full power, flaps fully down, an extreme aft centre of gravity (C of G) and maximum all up weight. The test pilot, who was the only occupant, applied full left rudder and full right aileron to initiate a spin. After the aircraft entered a spin to the left the pilot applied standard control inputs to effect a recovery to normal flight. The aircraft did not respond and at 6,500 feet, 13 seconds after the spin commenced, the pilot jettisoned the ballast and deployed the anti-spin parachute. The aircraft still did not respond and at about 32 seconds into the spin, at 5,200 feet, the pilot initiated release of the jettisonable door, released his harness, baled out, and was clear of the aircraft as it passed through 3,600 feet. At 1,800 feet the aircraft was observed to stop spinning. Fifty seconds after the commencement of the spin, the aircraft dived into the ground and was destroyed. The pilot sustained minor injuries during his landing.
Probable cause:
This was a prototype aircraft and some deficiencies and/or problems during testing are to be expected. With this particular aircraft the fact that the inadequate rudder hinge moment was masked throughout flight testing meant that the inadequate rudder performance during critical spin recovery was not clearly detected until it combined with other factors to become critical. These other factors included an ineffective anti-spin parachute, extensive blanking of the fin and rudder, and flight at the extremes of the weight and C of G envelope. It is not known what , if any, effect the previous rerigging of the elevator controls had on this flight.
The following factors were reported:
1. The rudder and fin effectiveness was inadequate for the spin test being undertaken.
2. The anti-spin protection systems were ineffective.
3. The aircraft was not able to be recovered from an intentional spin.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver near Yea

Date & Time: Mar 16, 1995 at 1400 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-IDB
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Yea - Yea
MSN:
883
YOM:
1956
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1468
Captain / Total hours on type:
244.00
Circumstances:
The pilot reported that the flight departed from an agricultural strip located in a valley surrounded by hills. The aircraft carried a full load of superphosphate to be spread on a property approximately one mile from the strip. The pilot had previously surveyed the property and the flight path. He had selected a route that took him up through a valley between hills and then over a low ridge to the property. After take off the pilot set climb power and selected climb flap in order to follow his predetermined route to the property. The pilot advised that as the aircraft flew towards the low ridge it appeared to be descending rather than climbing. He elected to carryout a partial dump and to apply extra flap to clear a clump of trees. The speed deteriorated to 60 knots from the initial climb speed of 70 knots. The pilot did not increase power. Some 300 metres later another partial dump was carried out to clear another tree. As that tree was cleared the pilot again initiated a partial dump and turned to the right in an endeavour to escape from a rapidly deteriorating situation. Immediately the turn was initiated the right wing dropped and the aircraft stalled, impacting the ground onto the right wing and cartwheeled to a stop some 50 metres from the initial impact. The company chief pilot examined the accident site and advised that the flight path through the valley was in a classic false horizon situation whereby the surrounding hills caused the pilot to consider that the flight path was over flat terrain whilst in reality the terrain was rising approximately 5 degrees up to the ridge. The chief pilot also advised that the aircraft would not have been able to outclimb the terrain at high gross weight with only cruise power set.
Probable cause:
Examination of the wreckage did not disclose any pre-impact factors that may have contributed to the accident. Weather and pilot workload were not considered to be factors in this accident.
The pilot had flown approximately 1200 hours on agricultural operations and 244 hours on the type. His loss of situational awareness could be due in part to his relatively low experience.
The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the accident:
- At high weight, and with climb power applied, the pilot flew the aircraft on an inappropriate flight path into rising terrain.
- The pilot did not take appropriate remedial actions when the aircraft could not outclimb the terrain and the aircraft speed deteriorated.
- The pilot lost control of the aircraft while attempting a turn at low speed.
Final Report:

Crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B-30 Marquise in Melbourne: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 21, 1994 at 0324 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-IAM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Sydney – Melbourne
MSN:
517
YOM:
1970
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
5000
Captain / Total hours on type:
150.00
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Sydney for Melbourne International airport at 0130 on 21 December 1994. En-route cruise was conducted at flight level 140. Melbourne Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) indicated a cloud base of 200 feet for the aircraft's arrival and runway 27 with ILS approaches, was in use. Air Traffic Control advised the pilot of VH-UZB, another company MU2 that was also en-route from Sydney to Melbourne, and the pilot of VH-IAM while approaching the Melbourne area, that the cloud base was at the ILS minimum and that the previous two aircraft landed off their approaches. VH-UZB was slightly ahead of VH-IAM and made a 27 ILS approach and landed. In response to an inquiry from the Tower controller the pilot of VH-UZB then advised that the visibility below the cloud base was 'not too bad'. This information was relayed by the Tower controller to the pilot of VH-IAM, who was also making a 27 ILS approach about five minutes after VH-UZB. The pilot acknowledged receipt of the information and was given a landing clearance at 0322. At 0324 the Approach controller contacted the Tower controller, who had been communicating with the aircraft on a different frequency, and advised that the aircraft had faded from his radar screen. Transmissions to VH-IAM remained unanswered and search-and-rescue procedures commenced. Nothing could be seen of the aircraft from the tower. A ground search was commenced but was hampered by the darkness and reduced visibility. The terrain to the east of runway 27 threshold, in Gellibrand Hill Park, was rough, undulating and timbered. At 0407 the wreckage was found by a police officer. Due to the darkness and poor visibility the policeman could not accurately establish his position. It took approximately another 15-20 minutes before a fire vehicle could reach the scene of the burning aircraft. The fire was then extinguished.
Probable cause:
The following factors were reported:
1. The company's training system did not detect deficiencies in the pilot's instrument flying skills.
2. The cloud base was low at the time of the accident and dark night conditions prevailed.
3. The pilot persisted with an unstabilised approach.
4. The pilot descended, probably inadvertently, below the approach minimum altitude.
5. The pilot may have been suffering from fatigue.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DH.104 Dove 5 in Melbourne

Date & Time: Dec 3, 1993 at 2037 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-DHD
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Melbourne - Melbourne
MSN:
04104
YOM:
1948
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
18154
Captain / Total hours on type:
1500.00
Aircraft flight hours:
21259
Circumstances:
The pilot had planned to conduct a night charter flight over Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, starting from and returning to Essendon Airport. Dinner was to be served in flight. The pilot gave a safety briefing to the passengers before starting the engines. He completed engine runups and pre-takeoff checks, including selecting 20° of flap. At 2036 ESuT, in daylight, the pilot initiated takeoff on runway 17 using standard take-off power setting of 7.5 lb/in2 of boost and 3,000 RPM. Wind conditions were light and variable, visibility was about 10 km and the temperature was 19°C. The aircraft became airborne and, just as it achieved the take-off safety speed of 84 kts, at a height not above 50 ft, the right engine lost power. The aircraft yawed right. The pilot reported to the investigation team that he briefly noticed a reading of 3 lb of boost on the MAP gauge and assessed the problem as a possible partial right engine failure. He then selected the landing gear up but it did not retract. He cycled the landing gear selector once and the gear then retracted. By this time several seconds had elapsed and the airspeed had decayed to 76 kts. The pilot then assessed the airspeed as too low to retract the flaps and left them at 20°. The airspeed continued to decay until VMCA, 72 kts, was reached. When indicated airspeed had further decayed to 68 kts, the pilot reduced power on the left engine to avoid an uncontrollable roll to the right. He was able to maintain wings level and attempted to track the aircraft toward a street but was unable to maintain height. The aircraft collided with powerlines and then struck the roofs of several houses before coming to rest, on its left side, against the front wall of a house. About one minute had elapsed from initiation of takeoff until the accident. The pilot and all but one of the passengers remained conscious throughout the accident sequence. All occupants were evacuated, some without assistance and others with the assistance of the pilot, other passengers, emergency services personnel or bystanders.
Probable cause:
The following factors were reported:
- The right engine fuel control unit fuel pump failed causing the engine to fail at a critical phase of flight.
- Maintenance inspections did not detect the abnormal wear on the thrust face of the right engine fuel control unit fuel pump.
- The landing gear did not retract on the first attempt and aircraft performance decayed while the pilot resolved this problem.
- The pilot was probably forced to abandon the emergency procedures to concentrate on maintaining control of the aircraft.
- The aircraft was unable to maintain altitude and airspeed with the right propeller windmilling and 20° of flap.
- The investigation identified organisational factors concerning deficiencies in the manuals and procedures available to, and used by, the operator for the operation and maintenance of the accident aircraft.
Final Report:

Crash of a Boeing 707-368C off Woodside Beach: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 29, 1991 at 1147 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A20-103
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Richmond - §Avalon
MSN:
21103
YOM:
1975
Flight number:
Windsor 380
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Richmond on a flight to Avalon, carrying five crew members. While cruising at an altitude of 5,000 feet along the coast, the aircraft lost height and plunged in the sea. The wreckage was found about one km off Woodside Beach and all five occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were good.
Crew:
Cpt Mark Lewin, pilot,
F/Lt Tim Ellis, copilot,
F/Lt Mark Duncan, pilot,
W/O Jon Fawcett, flight engineer,
W/O Al Gwynne, loadmaster.
Probable cause:
The Board of Inquiry concluded that the instructor devised a demonstration of asymmetric flight that was 'inherently dangerous and that was certain to lead to a sudden departure from controlled flight' and that he did not appreciate this. The Board noted there were deficiencies in the acquisition and documentation of 707 operational knowledge within the RAAF combined with the absence of effective mechanisms to prevent the erosion of operational knowledge at a time when large numbers of pilots were resigning from the air force. There was no official 707 QFI conversion course and associated syllabus and no adequate QFI instructors' manual. There were deficiencies in the documented procedures and limitations pertaining to asymmetric flight in the 707 and a lack of fidelity in the RAAF 707 simulator in the flight regime in which the accident occurred, which, assuming such a requirement existed, required actual practise in flight. 'The captain acted with the best of intentions but without sufficient professional knowledge or understanding of the consequences of the situation in which he placed the aircraft,' the Board said.