Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA36-300, VH-FET, 18 Km NE of Finley NSW, 13 October 1984

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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During the takeoff roll the pilot noted a loss of aircraft performance, but considered that there was insufficient strip length remaining to safely stop the aircraft. Shortly after becoming airborne the tail assembly struck the wooden top railing of a bridge. The left wing tip struck a dead tree 65 metres further on, the aircraft slewed to the left, touched down and came to rest with the engine and landing gear torn from the fuselage. No fault could be found with the aircraft systems which may have contributed to the reported loss of performance. The take-off, on a oneway strip, was conducted with a slight tailwind component and the estimated take-off weight slightly exceeded the climb weight limit specified in the aircraft P chart. The pilot's technique to assist in getting the aircraft airborne was to progressively select full flap during take-off. On this occasion the use of full flap apparently degraded the climb performance of the aircraft to such an extent that it collided with the bridge.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 October 1984   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1046    
Location: 18 Km NE of Finley    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 04 November 1985   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-36  
Aircraft registration VH-FET  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Ag Strip 18 km NE of Finley NSW  
Departure time 1046  
Destination Ag Strip in the local area  
Last update 01 April 2011