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After completing spreading operations in the Mansfield area during the morning the pilot returned to Benalla and refuelled the aircraft before going home at 1150 hours for lunch. The wind throughout the area on the day was from the south-west at a speed in excess of twenty knots. At 1330 hours the aircraft was observed to take-off and headed towards the destination airstrip 28 miles to the south west. The aircraft proceeded in a generally south-westerly direction and to the right of a direct track to its destination, over hilly country known to the pilot and rising to about 2,000 feet. At 1350 hours the aircraft was seen east of Euroa flying south westerly over lower and level terrain at a height of about 2,000 feet. It continued for two miles on this heading before It made shallow and medium turns and flew in an easterly direction toward rising ground. In a level attitude and with the engine apparently operating normally, the aircraft struck a gently rising hill at a point 20 feet below the crest. The aircraft bounced 112 feet and came to rest Inverted and caught fire. The medical evidence does not provide any basis to suggest that the pilot suffered incapacitation before the accident.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 140KB]
General details
Date: 16 February 1970 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1355 EST  
Location:Euroa Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 27 August 1970 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-25 
Aircraft registration: VH-FAO 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Benalla
Departure time:1330
Destination:Enderlee Airstrip
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Last update 16 May 2014