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The flight had been arranged to take passengers and freight from Pulparee, a seismic exploration field camp, to Brisbane. Just after the aircraft became airborne the right wing struck two men who were working on the top of the cabin of a truck. A section of the right wing was torn from the aircraft, however, the pilot was able to land the aircraft at Pulparee without further incident. The truck was located approximately 24 metres to the right of the centreline of the strip. From the point where the take-off was commenced the strip met the criteria for an authorised landing area. The vehicle was struck 1110 metres from the start of the take-off roll and about 200 metres after the aircraft became airborne. At the time the surface wind was gusting from the left and there were dust devils in the area. Shortly after becoming airborne, the pilot felt that the aircraft was not performing normally, and he looked into the cockpit to check the instruments. During this time, the aircraft diverged from the strip direction and the right wing dropped. The pilot heard the impact as the men were struck, and then looked out to see that the right wingtip had been severed. No evidence was obtained to indicate that the aircraft was not capable of normal operation. The pilot had been working in direct sunlight in temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius for four hours prior to the flight. It was therefore likely that he experienced some degree of heat stress. One of the effects of heat stress is that the time taken to integrate information is increased. It is considered probable that when the pilot looked at his instruments he required longer than normal to assimilate the information presented by the instruments. It was during this period that the aircraft was affected by the crosswind and possibly a dust devil and drifted off the intended flight path while travelling the distance to the truck. It was also probable that the correct climb attitude was not maintained.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 23 November 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1345  
Location:Pulparee SA (185km SE of Birdsville QLD) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 12 March 1986  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 402 
Aircraft registration: VH-UEZ 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Pulparee SA
Departure time:1345
Destination:Brisbane QLD
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