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A section of road near Narrabri West had been marked for use as an emergency airstrip in connection with flood relief. This section, some 3000 feet in length, was obstruction free over a width of approximately 100 feet, the bituminous sealed road in the centre being 18 feet wide. At the southern end of the selected area a power line crossed the road, 28 feet above the surface, with one supporting pole adjacent to the western side of the road. A line indicating the strip threshold had been painted across the road 140 feet north of this position and a large Cross was painted on the road surface immediately below the power line. The steepness of the approach gradient had been recognised and a diagram of the situation was displayed in the pilot briefing room at Narrabri aerodrome. The strip was in constant use by light aircraft, but although the pilot had been engaged on flood relief for several days he had not previously landed at the strip. On this occasion the pilot sought information concerning the strip before departing Narrabri and he determined the location and length of the strip, but he has since stated that he was not aware of the presence of the wires. He flew across the emergency strip at about the mid point and joined left downwind for a landing from the south, approaching over the wires. The approach was lower than that made by other aircraft and the nosewheel assembly contacted the wires. The aircraft struck the ground in a steep nose down attitude, 116 feet from the power lines and 24 feet short of the strip threshold.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 111KB]
General details
Date: 04 February 1971 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1745 EST  
Location:Narrabri Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 13 September 1971 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-PPQ 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Narrabri
Departure time:1740
Destination:Emergency airstrip
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Last update 13 May 2014