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The aircraft normally used by the pilot was unserviceable, and he had obtained the use of the PA 24, a type he had not flown for about 3 years. The initial leg of the flight was uneventful, but departure for the return journey had been delayed, and the aircraft arrived at the destination at about last light. When the gear was selected down, a complete electrical failure occurred. The pilot was unable to read the instructions for manual lowering of the gear, which were printed on a cover on the cockpit floor, because there was not a torch available. He therefore decided to land as soon as possible, as the grass strip selected was not lit. The landing was made about 10 minutes after last light, and the aircraft slid for about 60 metres before coming to rest on the strip. No defect was found to account for the electrical failure reported by the pilot. It was likely that when conducting the pre-landing checks, he had inadvertently operated the master switch in mistake for the fuel pump switch. Probably because of the pilot's concern of approaching darkness, and his lack of recent experience on the type, he had been unable to resolve the electrical problem in the time available.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 11 October 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1845 approx  
Location:Moree Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Wheels up landing 
Release date: 12 February 1987 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-24 
Aircraft registration: VH-GED 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Coonamble NSW
Departure time:1750 approx
Destination:Moree NSW
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Last update 13 May 2014