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The pilot had intended to go fish spotting in his aircraft. At about 1730 hours the aircraft was observed flying at about 100 feet above ground level and heading towards Streaky Bay. No further sightings of the aircraft were reported and when the pilot failed to return home a search was commenced. The wreckage was subsequently located the following morning. The aircraft had impacted in light mulga scrub in a steep nose down attitude. Investigation revealed that the main body tube had suffered an in-flight failure due to metal fatigue. The point of failure was at a junction of the rear engine pylon brace and the body-tube. The fatigue cracking initiated at rivet holes on the upper surface of the body-tube, beneath a doubler in an area which could not be visually inspected. The manufacturer had identified this problem and issued a mandatory inspection directive for this part, but the subject aircraft had not been inspected. Although the pilot was advised of this requirement by a friend, it is unlikely that he received any formal notification of it from the manufacturers local agent.

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General details
Date: 07 May 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1710 approx  
Location:11 km SW Streaky Bay Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia Occurrence type: Airframe - Other 
Release date: 28 August 1987 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Unknown 
Aircraft model: Birdman Chinook WT-11 
Serial number: 2377 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Streaky Bay SA
Departure time:1710 approx
Destination:Streaky Bay SA
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