Aviation safety investigations & reports

Airtractor AT301, 10 km E of Corryong VIC, 20 August 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was spraying a pine forest in hilly country. The spray runs were made in the downhill direction only, which required a low power setting during application. When the pilot applied power at the end of a particular run, engine roughness was noticed. He attempted to return to the DEPARTURE aerodrome, but the engine performance deteriorated to the point where a precautionary landing became necessary. The only suitable area was a short stretch of road, and the pilot was forced to apply heavy braking after touchdown. The tail lifted, allowing the propeller to strike the ground, and the aircraft overturned. Investigation established that the head had separated from one of the cylinders, as a result of fatigue cracking. No abnormalities were found in the casting material of the cylinder which might have explained the onset of the fatigue. It was possible that the cracking resulted from damage caused by excessive manifold pressure and/or cylinder head temperatures applied during previous operations.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 20 August 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1410    
Location: 10 km E of Corryong    
State: Victoria    
Release date: 27 January 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor Inc  
Aircraft model AT301  
Aircraft registration VH-JFA  
Serial number 301-0622  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Corryong VIC  
Departure time 1410  
Destination Corryong VIC