Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA25-235, Warunda (24 km NW of Port Lincoln) SA, 19 May 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Nearing the completion of the task the aircraft struck a single power line. The aircraft remained airborne but the pilot decided to land in a paddock and assess the damage. He found that the top 30 centimetres of the rudder had been torn off. Prior to spraying the paddock, the pilot had physically checked the position of the powerline. During the application he had flown under it at least 12 times but whilst considering the best method to complete the clean-up runs, he forgot about its presence. The front mounting of the wire deflector had been attached to the top of the fibreglass cockpit and not mounted onto the solid roll-cage framing. When the powerline contacted the wire deflector, the fibreglass failed and allowed the deflector wire to sag under the imposed load. This allowed the powerline to run a lower path and sever the rudder substantially below the rear deflector attach point.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 19 May 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1340    
Location: Warunda (24 km NW of Port Lincoln)    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 18 September 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-25  
Aircraft registration VH-BCP  
Serial number 25-4386  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Port Lincoln SA  
Departure time 1340  
Destination Port Lincoln SA