Country
code

Western Australia

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 in Beagle Bay

Date & Time: Jan 14, 2010 at 0645 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-NTQ
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Broome - Koolan Island
MSN:
208-0635
YOM:
1997
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Aircraft was en-route from Broome to Koolan Island, Western Australia (WA) at an altitude of about 9,500 ft, when the pilot noticed a drop in the engine torque indication, with a corresponding drop in the engine oil pressure indication. The pilot diverted to the nearest airstrip, which was Beagle Bay, WA. The pilot shut the engine down when the low oil pressure warning light illuminated and conducted a landing at Beagle Bay airstrip. The aircraft overran the airstrip, coming to rest upside down after impacting a mound of dirt. The aircraft was seriously damaged. The pilot, who was the only occupant, sustained minor injuries.
Probable cause:
From the evidence available it was evident that the engine had a substantial in-flight oil leak, which necessitated the in-flight shut down of the engine and a diversion to the nearest available airstrip. The accident damage to the engine in the area of the apparent oil leak precluded a conclusive finding as to the source of the leak. Although the detailed examination of the oil tube attachment lug fracture surfaces was inconclusive, the oil tube remained the most likely source of the oil leak. Evidence from other oil tube failures indicated that significant vibratory loading can cause the oil tube attachment lugs to fracture in the manner observed in the oil tube fitted to VH-NTQ. There was no evidence that the transfer tube was subjected to vibration from a compressor turbine or power turbine blade failure or of an incorrectly fitted engine mount. There was also no evidence of a pre-accident defect that would have caused a reduction in actual engine torque.
Final Report:

Crash of a Partenavia P.68 in Rottnest Island

Date & Time: Nov 12, 2006 at 1500 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-IYK
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Rottnest Island-Perth
MSN:
138
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:

Shortly after takeoff, the twin engine aircraft crashed in a salt lake located near the airport. The aircraft was destroyed upon impact while all occupants escaped with minous injuries.

Crash of a Cessna 421 Golden Eagle in El Questro, Australia: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 30, 2004 at 1200 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HB-LRW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
El Questro-Broome
MSN:
421-0633
YOM:
1974
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
2128
Captain / Total hours on type:
975.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3254
Circumstances:
Aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from El Questro Aeroplane Landing Area, Western Australia. Both occupants, British citizens, left the Swiss airport of La Chaux-de-Fonds (LSGC) during spring 2004 for a trip to Australia via Malta, Cyprus, Dubai, Oman, Iran, Thailand and Indonesia. After takeoff from runway 32, the aircraft turn sharply to the left before crashing in a wooded area located 888 meters after the runway end. Both occupants were killed.
Probable cause:

For reasons that could not be determined, the aircraft commenced a slight left angle of bank and drifted left after lift-off at a height from which the pilot was unable to recover prior to strinking trees to the left of the runway". The pilot, aged 60, accumulated 2,128 flying hours within 975 on type. The aircraft, built in 1979, totalised approximately 3,254 flying hours.

Crash of a Cessna 404 Titan II in Jandakot: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 11, 2003 at 1537 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-ANV
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Jandakot - Jandakot
MSN:
404-0820
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
16722
Captain / Total hours on type:
12345.00
Aircraft flight hours:
16819
Circumstances:
The aircraft took off from runway 24 right (24R) at Jandakot Airport, WA. One pilot and five passengers were on board the aircraft. The flight was being conducted in the aerial work category, under the instrument flight rules. Shortly after the aircraft became airborne, while still over the runway, the pilot recognized symptoms that he associated with a failure of the right engine and elected to continue the takeoff. The pilot retracted the landing gear, selected the wing flaps to the up position and feathered the propeller of the right engine. The pilot later reported that he was concerned about clearing a residential area and obstructions along the flight path ahead, including high-voltage powerlines crossing the aircraft’s flight path 2,400 m beyond the runway. The aircraft was approximately 450 m beyond the upwind threshold of runway 24R when the pilot initiated a series of left turns. Analysis of radar records indicated that during the turns, the airspeed of the aircraft reduced significantly below the airspeed required for optimum single-engine performance. The pilot transmitted to the aerodrome controller that he was returning for a landing and indicated an intention to land on runway 30. However, the airspeed decayed during the subsequent manoeuvring such that he was unable to safely complete the approach to that runway. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and the aircraft descended into an area of scrub-type terrain, moderately populated with trees. During the impact sequence at about 1537, the outboard portion of the left wing collided with a tree trunk and was sheared off. A significant quantity of fuel was spilled from the wing’s fuel tank and ignited. An intense postimpact fire broke out in the vicinity of the wreckage and destroyed the aircraft. Four passengers and the pilot vacated the aircraft, but sustained serious burns in the process. One of those passengers died from those injuries 85 days after the accident. A fifth passenger did not survive the post-impact fire.
Probable cause:
Significant factors:
1. The material specification contained in the engineering order for replacing the pump bushing of the engine driven fuel pump (EDFP) fitted to the right engine was not appropriate.
2. High torsional loads between the EDFP’s spindle shaft and the sleeve bearing sheared the pump’s drive shaft during a critical phase of flight.
3. The reduction in fuel pressure was insufficient to sustain operation of the engine at the take-off power setting.
4. The loss of engine power occurred close to the decision speed with the landing gear extended while the aircraft was over the runway.
5. The pilot elected to continue the takeoff.
6. The aircraft was manoeuvred, including turns and banks, at low altitude resulting in a decrease in airspeed below that required to maximise one-engine inoperative performance.
7. The pilot was unable to maintain the aircraft’s altitude over terrain that was unsuitable for an emergency landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft 70 Queen Air in Leonora

Date & Time: Jun 24, 2000 at 1740 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-MWJ
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Leonora – Laverton
MSN:
LB-29
YOM:
1970
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The Beechcraft Queen Air and Rockwell Aero Commander were being used by a company to conduct private category passenger-carrying flights to transport its workers from Leonora to Laverton in Western Australia. The Aero Commander had departed and was established in the Leonora circuit area when the Queen Air took off. The pilot and one of the passengers of the Queen Air reported the take-off roll appeared normal until the aircraft crossed the runway intersection, when they felt a bump in the aircraft. The pilot reported hearing a loud bang and noticed that the inboard cowl of the right engine had opened. He also reported that he believed he had insufficient runway remaining to stop safely, so he continued the takeoff. The cowl separated from the aircraft at the time, or just after the pilot rotated the aircraft to the take-off attitude. He reported that although the aircraft had left the ground after the rotation, it then would not climb. The aircraft remained at almost treetop level until the pilot and front-seat passenger noticed the side of a tailings dump immediately in front of the aircraft. The pilot said that he pulled the control column fully back. The aircraft hit the hillside parallel to the slope of the embankment, with little forward speed. The impact destroyed the aircraft. Although the occupants sustained serious injuries, they evacuated the aircraft without external assistance. There was no post-impact fire. The aircraft-mounted emergency locator transmitter (ELT) did not activate.
Probable cause:
The examination of the Queen Air wreckage found no mechanical fault that may have contributed to the accident sequence other than the inboard cowl of the right engine detaching during the takeoff. The cowl latching mechanisms appeared to have been capable of operating normally. The two top hinges failing in overload associated with the lack of cowl latch damage suggested that the cowl was probably improperly secured before takeoff. The cowl appeared to have subsequently opened when it experienced the jolt when the aircraft crossed the runway intersection. The lack of any further cowl damage indicated that it detached cleanly and consequently its dislodgment should not have adversely affected the flying qualities of the aircraft.
Final Report:

Crash of a Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander off Cocos Islands: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 16, 1999 at 1430 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-XFF
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Horn Island - Cocos Islands
MSN:
763
YOM:
1975
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
2540
Captain / Total hours on type:
197.00
Aircraft flight cycles:
16775
Circumstances:
Uzu Air conducted passenger and freight operations between Horn Island and the island communities in the Torres Strait. It operated single-engine Cessna models 206 and 208 aircraft, and twin-engine Britten Norman Islander aircraft. On the morning of the accident, the pilot flew a company Cessna 206 aircraft from Horn Island to Yam, Coconut, and Badu Islands, and then returned to Horn Island. The total flight time was about 93 minutes. The pilot's schedule during the afternoon was to fly from Horn Island to Coconut, Yam, York, and Coconut Islands and then back to Horn Island, departing at 1330 eastern standard time. The flight was to be conducted in Islander, VH-XFF. Three passengers and about 130 kg freight were to be carried on the Horn Island - Coconut Island sector. Another company pilot had completed three flights in XFF earlier in the day for a total of 1.9 hours. He reported that the aircraft operated normally. Witnesses at Horn Island reported that the preparation for the flight, and the subsequent departure of the aircraft at 1350, proceeded normally. The pilot of another company aircraft heard the pilot of XFF report 15 NM SW of Coconut Island at 3,500 ft. A few minutes later, the pilot reported downwind for runway 27 at Coconut Island. Both transmissions sounded normal. Three members of the Coconut Island community reported that, at about 1410, they were on the beach at the eastern extremity of the island, about 250 m from the runway threshold and close to the extended runway centreline. Their recollections of the progress of the aircraft in the Coconut Island circuit are as follows: the aircraft joined the downwind leg and flew a left circuit for runway 27; the aircraft appeared to fly a normal approach until it passed over their position at an altitude of 200-300 ft; and it then veered left and commenced a shallow climb before suddenly rolling right and descending steeply onto a tidal flat, about 30 m seaward from the high-water mark, and about 200 m from their position. A passenger was seriously injured while three other occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The following findings were identified:
- The pilot initiated a go-around from final approach because of a vehicle on the airstrip.
- The left propeller showed little evidence of rotation damage. The reason for a possible loss of left engine power could not be determined.
- For reasons that could not be established, the pilot lost control of the aircraft at a low height.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed P-3C Orion off Cocos Islands: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 26, 1991
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
A9-754
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
185-5662
YOM:
1978
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
17
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The aircraft was engaged in a local flight and was carrying 17 passengers and a crew of four. After takeoff from Cocos Island Airport, the crew climbed to 5,000 feet then reduced his altitude for a low pass over the airport. Approaching the airport at a speed of 380 knots and at a height of about 300 feet, the pilot-in-command increased engine power in a way to gain height when the aircraft lost several pieces from the left wing. Due to severe vibrations and problems of controllability, the crew decided to attempt an emergency landing near the airport. The aircraft struck the ground, lost its undercarriage and came to rest in shallow water. A passenger was killed after being hit by propeller blades that punctured the fuselage. All 20 other occupants escaped uninjured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Forced landing following severe vibrations after several elements from the left leading edge detached in flight.

Crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 Marquise near Meekatharra: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jan 26, 1990 at 0105 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
VH-MUA
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Perth - Port Hedland
MSN:
746
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
11030
Captain / Total hours on type:
51.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1902
Circumstances:
The aircraft had been chartered for a flight from Perth to Port Hedland. The pilot arrived at the aircraft at 2210 hours on 25 January, and after a short inspection of the aircraft, attended the CAA flight planning office for air traffic control and meteorology briefing. The briefing included information about a tropical cyclone off the NW coast of Australia and its potential effects on the proposed flight. After the flight plan was submitted, the pilot returned to the aircraft at 2315 hours as the loading was being completed, and conducted a preflight inspection of the aircraft and its load. The aircraft departed Perth at 2339 and commenced a climb towards Ballidu, the first turning point, over which it passed at 0003 hours. Subsequently, the aircraft passed over Mt Singleton at 0020, Mt Magnet at 0040 and Meekatharra at 0102 hours. After Ballidu, the aircraft climbed from FL170 to FL190 and climbed further to FL210 after Mt Magnet. While over Meekatharra, the passenger (also a licenced pilot) gave the position report. One minute later, the pilot radioed that the aircraft was out of control and descending. He called again 30 seconds later and advised that the aircraft was in ice and spinning down through 8,000 feet. No further communications were received from the aircraft. Both occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The following findings were reported:
- The pilot did not have recent experience in high-performance, high-altitude aircraft except for the 51.7 hours gained in the MU-2.
- The pilot did not possess some of the experience levels and recency requirements placed on MU-2 pilots immediately after the accident by the CAA.
- The pilot did not take sufficient account of the operational characteristics of this aircraft type.
- The pilot's situational awareness was probably impaired during the flight, because of the combination of pre-existing cumulative fatigue, and insufficient sleep in the previous 42 hours.
- The meteorological conditions were conducive to the formation of airframe icing on an aircraft flying in cloud along the flight planned route.
- It is probable that control was lost as the aircraft banked to the left over Meekatharra, to change track towards Port Hedland.
- The pilot reported that the aircraft was in ice during his last radio transmission.
- The pilot was unable to recover from the spin before the aircraft hit the ground.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo in Carnarvon

Date & Time: Aug 18, 1989 at 1856 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VH-DEG
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Geraldton – Carnarvon
MSN:
31-7812098
YOM:
1978
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
At approximately 1809, (23 minutes before last light) during final approach to landing at Carnarvon, the pilot noticed that the landing gear had not extended correctly. The aircraft remained in the circuit area whilst the pilot attempted to lower the landing gear using both manual and emergency methods. He also sought assistance from the company's, Perth based, duty pilot and Carnarvon based engineers. After exhausting all possible methods of lowering the gear the pilot decided to land with the landing gear and flaps retracted. The pilot rejected a landing on the sealed runways because he was apprehensive that it would cause unnecessary damage to the aircraft and could result in a fire. He considered landing in a riverbed (rejected by the Senior Operational Controller), alongside one of the sealed runways (the surface was unsuitable) and on one of the dirt strips. The pilot was offered a flare path on dirt runway 27 however, he declined and indicated that he would try to land using the available light. At 1856 (last light was at 1832) the pilot attempted a landing on runway 27. On late final approach the aircraft collided with a one and a half metre high levy bank, 270 metres short and 115 metres to the right of the threshold. The pilot was trapped in the wreckage for some time after the aircraft came to a stop. While the passenger was slightly injured, the pilot was seriously wounded.
Probable cause:
The landing gear problem arose when the left main landing gear would not lower. Examination of the aircraft revealed that both hinges fitted to the inboard landing gear door had fractured. The forward hinge had fractured as a result of fatigue and the rear hinge as a result of overload. The fatigue crack initiation had occurred at a sharp edged, prominent forging flash on the inner radius of the hinge and had grown over approximately 4000 load cycles. A similar fatigue problem had been identified on an earlier version of the hinge (part number 46653-00), however, regular inspections for fatigue cracking were discontinued when hinges with part number 47529-32 (as fitted to VH-DEG) were introduced in 1980. Similar fatigue cracking was found in the forward door hinge of another PA31 during the investigation. The fractured hinges jammed the left main landing gear mechanism and neither the normal or emergency extension systems could extend the gear. The pilot was apprehensive about wheels up landings. Much of his decision making was aimed at reducing the risk of fire and minimising the damage the aircraft would sustain during the landing. eg. Selection of a dirt runway instead of the sealed strip, landing with flaps retracted etc. During the pilot's attempts to rectify the landing gear problem, and up until the time of his touchdown, he was subjected to considerable radio transmission traffic involving questions, directions and suggestions which distracted him from his primary tasks. The pilot indicated on at least two occasions that he was ready to land, however, each time advice and questions from the ground personnel involved overrode his intentions. When the pilot was asked if he wanted a flare path on runway 27 there was still some natural light available and he was intending to land. However, by the time he was able to make his final approach it was dark and he was unable to see the ground. Studies have shown that aircrew subjected to high levels of stress can suffer skill fatigue and cognitive task saturation, which in turn can lead to a breakdown in the decision making process. It was apparent from the pilot's radio transmissions and the quality of the decisions made in the latter part of the flight that his information processing and decision making abilities had been degraded by the stress of continuous radio transmissions and continuous, and sometimes conflicting, instructions. As a result, what should have been a relatively simple wheels up landing in daylight was turned into an extremely difficult wheels up landing at night. With the landing gear retracted the aircraft's taxi and landing lights were not available to the pilot.
The following factors were considered relevant to the development of the accident:
1. Manufacturing defect. A forging flash created a stress concentration which led to fatigue cracking.
2. Inadequate inspection procedures. Previous inspection procedures introduced to disclose similar cracking were withdrawn on the introduction of later part numbered hinges.
3. Apprehension of the pilot. The pilot was apprehensive about apparently significant dangers of landing an aircraft, wheels up, on a sealed runway.
4. Inordinate interference in aircraft operations by ground based advisors. The ground advisors input overrode the pilot's decision on a number of occasions with the result that a simple exercise became very complicated.
5. Cognitive task saturation and skill fatigue. The amount of information, advice and suggestions being passed via the radio communications system overloaded the pilot decision making abilities.
6. Improper in-flight decisions. As a result of task saturation the final decision made by the pilot to attempt a night landing on an unlighted strip was incorrect.
7. The pilot did not see and therefore was unable to avoid the levy bank.
Final Report: