Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control involving a Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd 1124, VH-IWJ, Near SYDNEY NSW 13ESE, NSW on 10 October 1985

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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CIRCUMSTANCES: "The aircraft was planned to conduct a regular freight service to Brisbane and Cairns. After an evidently normal take-off from Runway 16 the crew contacted DEPARTUREs Radar, advised that the aircraft was climbing to Flight Level 370 and requested the direct track to Brisbane. Approximately two minutes later the crew did not respond to calls from the radar controller, and the aircraft faded from the radar screen. Witnesses subsequently reported that the aircraft was seen diving steeply towards the water. The evidence obtained from eye witnesses, recorded radar information and the Flight Data Recorder indicated that the aircraft entered a rapid turn to the right and rolled, probably to a nose-down inverted position, before entering a steep descent. The pilot in command intended to use the flight to assess the performance of the co-pilot, who was being considered for up-grading to command status. He was known to simulate emergency instrument flight conditions while checking company pilots. These simulations took the form of failures to the Flight Attitude Indicators on the left instrument panel, and the masking of the indicator on the right by covering or the removal of instrument lighting. It was likely that on this occasion that the simulated failures referred to above were given shortly before the aircraft commenced a planned turn to the left to take up the track towards Brisbane at a height of about 5000 feet. At this time the pilot in command had no external reference by which to monitor the attitude of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. The pilots did not recover control of the aircraft before impact with the water. NOTE A full report on this accident has been prepared and is available from the Australian Government Publishing Service in each Capital city."
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 5.04MB]
General details
Date: 10 October 1985   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0:59 EST    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 18 March 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd  
Aircraft model 1124  
Aircraft registration VH-IWJ  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point SYDNEY NSW  
Destination BRISBANE QLD  
Last update 03 January 2019