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Prior to making this flight, the pilot had not flown the aircraft type since February 1969. The aircraft was refuelled before departure and adequate fuel was available for the flight. In the vicinity of Warragamba at 2500 feet the pilot changed the fuel selection from the right tank on which he had'been operating and after a few seconds the engine ceased to give power. He checked the engine controls and changed the position of the fuel selector several times. Apart from a brief period of surges of power his efforts to restart the engine were of no avail and he chose a field on which to carry out a forced landing. He was unable to position the aircraft for a successful approach to the selected field and, when this became apparent over the final few hundred feet of descent, he continued on a straight course until the aircraft struck a tree and crashed to the ground among trees in the vicinity of out-buildings attached to a farm property. The aircraft was fitted with two fuel tanks and the fuel selector provided for selection of left or right tank or 'off. The selector also had detent positions for two auxiliary tanks which are not fitted to this particular aircraft and, to prevent selection of these positions at which the fuel is not available, the selector incorporated a small strip of aluminium with the ends bent to form stops. When the aircraft was examined it was found that the starboard stop was overridden and the selector was set to approximately the port auxiliary tank selection.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 103KB]
General details
Date: 21 September 1969 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1620 EST  
Location:south of Warragamba Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 06 May 1970  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-24 
Aircraft registration: VH-RSW 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Bankstown
Departure time:1547
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Last update 01 April 2011