Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA28-161, VH-BZB, 1 km South Lilydale VIC, 9 December 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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After conducting a thorough pre-flight inspection, the pilot prepared to ferry the aircraft to a maintenance organisation which was to perform a scheduled inspection. The aircraft performed normally until it reached a height of about 200 feet after take-off. At this point the engine lost a substantial amount of power and the pilot was committed to a forced landing. During the landing roll the aircraft collided with a fence and came to rest in the adjacent paddock. Initial inspection revealed that there was a serious leakage of fuel past the fuel filter bowl seal, and it was likely that air had entered the fuel system. The stirrup/clamp which held the filter bowl in place had been subjected to an unauthorised repair, which had probably reduced its overall strength. Fuel had been observed leaking from the filter bowl area several days previously, and it was possible that during the attempts to stop the leak, the stirrup had been incorrectly positioned. The fuel leak had not been drawn to the attention of a licenced engineer.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 09 December 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 739    
Location: 1 km South Lilydale    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Fuel starvation  
Release date: 26 March 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-BZB  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Lilydale VIC  
Departure time 0739  
Destination Moorabbin VIC