Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna A150K, VH-RDH, Holsworthy NSW, 9 July 1972

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On the day of the accident spot landing competitions were carried out from the Aero Paddock Airstrip by a social group of pilots. Mr. Paul was a qualified flying instructor and was responsible for supervision of the flying activities for the day. After the competitions were concluded he indicated to a small group of persons that he would make a demonstration flight in VH-RDH which was the only aircraft at the airstrip approved for acrobatic flight. He stated, however, that he would not operate the aircraft acrobatically. The airstrip was aligned east/west and the surface wind was from the west at 8 knots. An into wind take-off was made in a manner similar to that which would be expected for short field operations but the flaps were extended to about 30 degrees whereas 10 degrees of flap extension Is recommended by the aircraft manufacturer as the maximum for short field take-offs. The aircraft climbed steeply ahead to a height of about 200 feet, the flaps were retracted, and it then turned to the right. As the turn continued the aircraft descended and made a very low run over the airstrip area in an easterly direction, at a speed of approximately 100 knots. When it was near the eastern end of the airstrip the aircraft climbed steeply to a height of about 300 feet and the speed decreased to at least the stalling speed of the aircraft in its particular configuration (i.e. 43 knots). The nose pitched down, the port wing dropped, a turn to the left commenced and the engine noise ceased. As the aircraft descended the nose continued to lower, the angle of bank increased and it is apparent that the aircraft had entered an unstabilized spinning mode. Before recovery could be effective the port wing struck a tree some 20 feet above ground level and the aircraft impacted the ground at a speed of approximately 100 knots still rotating to the left and in a steep nose down attitude.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 104KB]
General details
Date: 09 July 1972   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1643 EST    
Location: Holsworthy    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 01 July 1974   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 150  
Aircraft registration VH-RDH  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Aero Paddock Airstrip, Holsworthy  
Departure time 1642  
Destination Aero Paddock Airstrip, Holsworthy  
Last update 13 May 2014