Aviation safety investigations & reports

Airtractor AT301, VH-FAQ, Freeling SA, 30 October 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was spraying a pea crop in calm conditions. A high voltage powerline was strung above a fence bounding one side of the paddock being treated. The pilot knew of its presence and could see it clearly during the spray runs. At the end of the sixth run prior to making the procedure turn, the pilot felt a slight jolt and was surprised when he saw the powerline collapse. The aircraft's deflector wire contacted the powerline and guided it over the fuselage until it was severed by the deflector wire rear attachment bracket on top of the fin. The pilot advised that he misjudged the clearance between the fence and the powerline and later inspection revealed that the line was hung lower than is usually the case.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 30 October 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1200    
Location: Freeling    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 16 October 1987   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor Inc  
Aircraft model AT301  
Aircraft registration VH-FAQ  
Serial number 301-0209  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Freeling  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Freeling