Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 172-D, VH-DEN, Ceres Downs Station, 180km South-east of Darwin NT, 14 March 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At about 500 feet above ground level after takeoff, just after the pilot commenced a left turn, the engine lost power. The pilot was unable to rectify the problem and chose a cleared area in which to land. During the approach it became obvious to the pilot that the aircraft would not make the selected area and he decided to land on a bush track. The aircraft touched down on the nosewheel and bounced, then touched down again before running through thick grass, coming to rest 74 metres beyond the second point of touchdown. A fire then broke out in the engine compartment, which subsequently destroyed the aircraft. The inspection of the wreckage was hampered by fire damage. However, a strip of the engine did not reveal any defects that may have contributed to the reported engine failure.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 14 March 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0948    
Location: Ceres Downs Station, 180km South-east of Darwin    
State: Northern Territory    
Release date: 02 September 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-DEN  
Serial number 172 49695  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Ceres Downs Station NT  
Departure time 946  
Destination Batchelor NT