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The pilot was operating under the remote supervision of the chief pilot who had marked the section of the field as suitable for the operation of the aircraft. The distance available for take-off and landing under the prescribed agricultural operational requirements was 1,400 feet and there was then a distance of 120 feet before a three foot high fence on the boundary of the field. The pilot was not aware of the exact length of the field nor did he check the flight manual to assess the aircraft's performance under the conditions. During earlier operations on the day of the accident the aircraft became airborne about 300 feet from the fence but as the temperature rose and the wind strength decreased.this distance became less and on the flight before refuelling the aircraft did not become airborne until about 150 feet from the fence. After adding 22 gallons of fuel and reloading the pilot realised that the wind was now only light and variable and he began his take-off run from a point 100 feet behind the previously used commencement point, thus making a total effective length of 1,550 feet. The aircraft did not become airborne until it was about 50 feet from the fence and the pilot attempted to dump the load but operated the mechanism incorrectly and the aircraft struck the fence, damaging the tailplane and elevator. The aircraft remained in the air and subsequently landed safely. According to the performance chart in the conditions prevailing at the time of the accident the take-off distance requirement was 2,300 feet.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 153KB]
General details
Date: 29 January 1970 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1430 EST  
Location:Clarkefield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria  
Release date: 04 February 1971  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 180 
Aircraft registration: VH-PVB 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:CLarkefield
Departure time:1430
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Last update 16 May 2014