In 1995 the Bureau published a survey of agricultural aviation accidents 1985-1992, which has now been updated by including accident and incident data for the period 1993-1995.
The data shows that agricultural aviation accidents accounted for 12% of all Australian aviation accidents during the 10-year period 1986-1995 and that the accident rate continues to be higher than that for other sectors of general aviation.
The majority of accidents occur in the agricultural work phase, whereas with other types of commercial operations most accidents occur in the take-off and landing phases. The largest group of accidents are associated with contacting powerlines or overhead communication lines (commonly called wirestrikes) and are attributed to the pilot either not seeing the powerline, or momentarily forgetting the position of the powerline. These factors are categorised as failures in the pilots' 'perception of their working environment'. The second largest category of accidents was where the investigator assessed that the pilot exercised poor decision making ('incorrect operational decisions').
The number of agricultural aviation incidents reported to the Bureau was relatively small. However, those that were reported involved factors very similar to those associated with the agricultural accidents. There is a need for greater reporting of incidents as a means of increasing safety awareness and improving accident prevention.
|Type:||Research and Analysis Report|
|Publication date:||15 February 1997|
|ISBN:||0 642 25636 5|