Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 150M, VH-BFA, 2 km NE of Parafield SA, 18 February 1984

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot departed Toowoomba early on the same day to ferry the aircraft via refuelling stops at Walgett and Griffith. The flight evidently proceeded normally until the aircraft was on approach to land at Parafield. At this time the pilot advised that the engine was failing and shortly afterwards he reported that he was experiencing fuel problems and would attempt a forced landing. Control of the aircraft was subsequently lost and it crashed inverted into a suburban property. Inspection of the wreckage revealed that the engine had failed through fuel exhaustion. Fuel usage on the previous legs of the flight should have indicated to the pilot that the aircraft could not reach the destination with the mandatory fuel reserves. The pilot was known to be in a hurry to make an onward transport connection from Adelaide and he possibly allowed this to influence his decision to attempt the flight non-stop from Griffith. When the engine failed the aircraft was about 800 feet agl and there were no suitable forced landing areas within gliding distance. Control of the aircraft was then lost at too low a height to enable recovery before impact with the ground.

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[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 18 February 1984   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300    
Location: 2 km NE of Parafield    
State: South Australia    
Release date: 17 October 1984   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-BFA  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Griffith NSW  
Departure time 1300  
Destination Parafield SA  
Last update 01 April 2011