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After refuelling, the pilot found one of the tanks contaminated with water. The fuel was drained from the tank and clean fuel added. No contamination was found in the subsequent check of the fuel in the tank. The aircraft was then washed using a high pressure water hose. During the following flight, the engines began to run roughly and the pilot decided to carry out a landing in a paddock. The surface of the paddock was rough and the aircraft bounced heavily and groundlooped, collapsing the right gear. The investigation revealed that water had been present in the fuel system for sometime. Because of the design of the fuel system it is not possible to drain the lowest point of the fuel tank while the aircraft is parked. It is probable that the engine rough running was caused by a combination of contaminated fuel and a sticking valve.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 17 November 1984 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 840  
Location:10 Km East of Beachport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia  
Release date: 19 June 1985  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: DH-84 
Aircraft registration: VH-AQU 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Strathalbyn SA
Departure time:0840
Destination:Portland VIC
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Last update 01 April 2011