Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 177, VH-DZH, Inverel, NSW, 12 January 1971

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The recent experience of the pilot had been acquired in a Piper PA28-235 aircraft owned by the company with which he was associated. He had not previously flown the Cessna 177 model but this type was included in a group of aircraft endorsed on his licence. Before the flight he was briefed by the owner on the handling characteristics of the aircraft and after normal pre-flight preparation, he and the passenger boarded the aircraft and taxied to the 334 degrees strip. Conditions at the time were hot and moderately gusty with the temperature about 90 degrees F and a north westerly wind of 8 to 12 knots. After checking the engine performance the pilot was not satisfied with the operation of the carburettor heat control and taxied back to the apron. The aircraft owner reassured him of the serviceability of the system and the pilot again taxied to the 334 degrees strip from which, after a further check of engine and flight controls, the aircraft took off. After becoming airborne, the aircraft assumed what appeared to be a normal climb straight ahead, but at a height of 100 to 150 feet it began a turn to the left with an angle of bank of about 15 degrees. The turn continued through approximately 110 degrees then the nose suddenly dropped as the angle of bank increased and the aircraft, still turning, dived to the ground. The passenger was able to escape from the cabin before the wreckage was destroyed by fire, but was prevented by the flames from giving effective assistance to the unconscious pilot.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 99KB]
General details
Date: 12 January 1971   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1440 EST    
Location: Inverell    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 26 July 1971   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 177  
Aircraft registration VH-DZH  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Inverell North  
Departure time 1440  
Destination Grafton  
Last update 13 May 2014