Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 402, VH-DIL, Perth, WA, 22 July 1970

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was engaged on a charter flight to uplift five persons and the cabin seating was so arranged. When a sixth passenger was presented the pilot agreed to carry the extra person, seated on the floor of the aircraft and without a safety belt. A quantity of unsecured freight and baggage was also carried in the.rear of the cabin. Weather information passed to the aircraft en route warned of moderate to severe turbulence and the Perth Airport weather was 7/8 of cloud with a base of 500 feet and visibility down to 2,000 yards in rain. The flight proceeded normally to a position some 24 miles east of Perth, where an area of severe turbulence was encountered. The aircraft was in cloud at an altitude of 5, 000 feet and the pilot first used full power and a high nose attitude to counteract a sharp rate of descent. He then lowered the nose and reduced power to cope with a severe updraft. The effect of these manoeuvres and the resultant steep dive and recovery was that the unsecured passenger and freight forcibly contacted alternately the ceiling and the floor of the cabin slightly injuring the passenger and damaging some of the freight. This manoeuvre cycle was probably repeated before the aircraft eventually broke cloud with a ground clearance of 1,000 feet and the pilot regained control. During these manoeuvres the aircraft sustained extensive damage to the main spars and other major components. Instrument flight was then resumed and an instrument approach and a normal landing made at Perth Airport.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 189KB]
General details
Date: 22 July 1970   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1718 WST    
Location: Perth    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 16 July 1971   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 402  
Aircraft registration VH-DIL  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Southern Cross  
Departure time 1600  
Destination Perth  
Last update 16 May 2014