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Attempts were made to obtain photographs of VH-MJO with sharks in the background but these were unsuccessful. It was then decided that VH-KWN would descend to 500 feet to photograph the school of sharks, while VH-MJO remained clear of the other aircraft. The pilot of VH-KWN extended flap to 30 degrees and reduced speed from about 70 knots to 55-60 knots, using just sufficient engine power to maintain 500 feet altitude. Two left hand racecourse orbits were flown around the sharks and, during the third orbit, while on a north-easterly heading, the pilot had a discussion with the photographer regarding the positioning of the aircraft and then looked out to the right to check the location of the other aircraft. As a further left turn was initiated the pilot looked at the aircraft instruments and noticed that the altitude had decreased to 300 feet and that the airspeed was also low. The port wing dropped and the stall warning was heard to operate. Despite the initial application of corrective aileron, and the subsequent application of right rudder, forward stick and engine power, the aircraft lost height rapidly and struck the water in a nose down, port wing low attitude.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 160KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 05 January 1974 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1628 ESuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Mud Islands, Port Phillip Bay Occurrence type:Loss of control 
State: Victoria Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 06 May 1975 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Serious 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-KWN 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Moorabbin
Departure time:1512
Destination:Moorabbin
 
 
 
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Last update 13 May 2014