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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 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 02 September 1987  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
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
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