The operator had received approval to carry out certain low level operations, including power line inspections, during nominated periods of emergency. The approval was subject to a number of conditions, which included requirements that such flights be authorised by the State Emergency Services and that only persons essential to the operation be carried. As suitably qualified commercial pilots were not normally available, two private pilot members of the aero club who had more than 1000 hours flying experience had been specifically approved to conduct these flights. Before receiving this approval, the pilots had been required to complete specialised low flying training and testing. The procedure used in conducting power line inspection flights was to fly at approximately 200 feet above ground level, maintaining about 90 knots airspeed with one or two stages of flap lowered and with the aircraft tracking left of the line to assist inspection by the observer in the right seat.
The aircraft struck the spur line with its propeller and nose gear. The line did not break and the aircraft was pitched vertically to the ground.
Examination of the wreckage found no evidence of mechanical defect or malfunction which might have contributed to the accident.
|Date:||21 October 1980||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||12 April 1983||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Cessna Aircraft Company|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Walgett, NSW|