Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA24-180 Comanche, VH-DBW, Ardlethan, NSW, 12 July 1970

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The crew of the aircraft comprised an Instructor, who was employed by the operator, acting as pilot-in-command in the right front seat and a private pilot, who was undergoing instruction on the aircraft for type endorsement, in the left front or normal pilot seat. The flight was also for the purpose of the private pilot visiting his father's property near Ardlethan on personal business. The third occupant was a student pilot who had not yet begun his flying training and had been invited on the flight as an observer. After arriving over its destination, where a strong south westerly wind of up to 20 knots was evident, the aircraft circled the airstrip and then flew across the homestead in a north easterly direction at a low height. As it approached a low ridge which crossed the flight path at right angles the aircraft began to climb at a progressively steepening angle until at a height of approximately 250 feet above the ground and at an obviously diminished airspeed it began a steeply banked turn to the left. At this point the aircraft nosed down and, at an angle of descent of about 50 degrees, dived into the trees near the base of the western face of the ridge.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 97KB]
General details
Date: 12 July 1970   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1145 EST    
Location: Ardlethan    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 22 March 1971   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-24  
Aircraft registration VH-DBW  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Wagga  
Departure time 1114  
Destination Ardlethan  
Last update 16 May 2014