Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 172E, VH-DIT, Andamooka, SA, 29 December 1972

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot's Private Pilot Licence had expired on 31 October, 1972 and he had not made application for its renewal. He continued to fly after the lapse of his licence and on the morning of the day on which the accident occurred, he piloted VH-DIT from Adelaide to Andamooka, with three passengers. He had visited Andamooka on several previous occasions and at these times stayed with the family of his married sister, who lived within the environs of the town. After their arrival the four occupants of the aircraft went to a restaurant at about 1330 hours, had a meal and began to consume alcoholic drinks. Drinking continued throughout the afternoon as other friends joined the party and the pilot was observed to drink a quantity of alcohol during this period. As evening approached the pilot made some remarks which suggested to others present that he Intended to go flying. Efforts were made to dissuade him, but at approximately 1940 hours he left the group and hitch hiked to the aerodrome, situated some four miles north of the town. At the aerodrome he was seen to untie and board the aircraft, in which he then took off and flew towards the township at a low altitude. Arriving over the town area at approximately 2020 hours, the pilot began a number of low runs, descending generally to roof top level except near the residence of his sister, where he flew just above the ground. While the pilot was flying past this house for the third time, the port wing dipped slightly and struck the corner of a shed adjacent to the main building. The aircraft then crashed to the ground and cartwheeled for a distance of 420 feet before coming to rest. Fire broke out immediately upon impact and destroyed the major portion of the wreckage.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 101KB]
General details
Date: 29 December 1972   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2025 CSuT    
Location: Andamooka    
State: South Australia    
Release date: 11 May 1973   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-DIT  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Andamooka  
Departure time 2010  
Destination Andamooka  
Last update 01 April 2011