Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA-31P-350, VH-HFD, Cervantes WA, 20 February 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]

The aircraft was carrying out a night flight to a strip lit by portable fluorescent lights. These lights were spaced 190 metres apart along the length of the strip. During the approach the left main gear struck rising ground, which formed the end of the built-up strip surface, approximately 29 metres short of the threshold. The left main gear drag brace failed and the oleo leg was bent, however, the gear did not collapse and the landing was completed without further incident.

The investigation revealed that the strip had been lengthened but the operator had not been notified of the change. The available portable lights had been evenly spaced along the length of the strip. However, due to insufficient lights being available, the spacing between them exceeded double the prescribed spacing and the threshold was inadequately marked. The pilot was not aware of the length and spacing anomalies. Consequently, because of these anomalies, he was presented with a false perspective of the angle of approach and misjudged the approach.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 February 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 304    
Location: Cervantes    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 15 June 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31  
Aircraft registration VH-HFD  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Jandakot WA  
Departure time 0304  
Destination Cervantes WA