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The pilot had been engaged in fertiliser spreading operations on the property since the previous day. During a meal break between sorties, the pilot and his father discussed the presence of a powerline which crossed a creek on the property. Immediately following the break, the pilot continued with the spreading operation, before turning and following the line of the creek. It was considered that he was proceeding towards an area which required clean-up runs to complete the treatment. The right wing of the aircraft struck and became entangled in the single wire powerline, and the aircraft crashed into the creek bed. A fire broke out on impact and consumed the wreckage. The powerline was suspended from poles on either side of the creek, with a span between poles of 735 metres. The aircraft struck the wire approximately 50 metres above ground level. The weather conditions at the time were fine and cloudless, with no restrictions to visibility. The investigation did not reveal any fault or malfunction with the aircraft which might have contributed to the accident. It is likely that the pilot forgot the presence of the wire, and either did not see it, or saw it too late to take avoiding action. The wire itself was hard to see against the background, and the wide span between supporting poles made the task of detection more difficult. The reason the pilot apparently forgot the presence of the powerline, so soon after specifically discussing it, could not be determined.

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General details
Date: 02 April 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1330  
Location:3km S Chintin (22km NNE Sunbury) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Wirestrike 
Release date: 11 December 1987 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 188 
Aircraft registration: VH-ESB 
Serial number: 188-01439T 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Chintin Grange VIC
Departure time:1325 approx
Destination:Chintin Grange VIC
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