Aviation safety investigations & reports

Bede BD 4, VH-ECW, 1 km SE Hoxton Park NSW, 7 June 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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At a height of about 350 feet after a normal takeoff, the engine commenced to run roughly. The pilot considered that the problem may have been caused by part of a propeller blade becoming detached. Power was reduced and the pilot commenced to turn back towards the aerodrome. A substantial amount of height was lost during this turn, and the aircraft was seen to make a number of lateral oscillations. It then struck the ground in a tail low, wings level attitude at relatively low forward speed. No pre-impact mechanical defect was found with the engine or propeller. However, initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuel selector valve was very close to the "Off" position. Tests conducted on a similar aircraft indicated that with the fuel selector positioned as found, sufficient fuel was available to allow engine operation at low to moderate power settings. It was considered likely that on this occasion the fuel flow required for take-off exceeded the amount available through the selector valve. This in turn led to an excessively lean mixture, and the engine lost power. The aircraft had stalled during the attempted turn back towards the aerodrome, and the pilot had insufficient height in which to effect a recovery.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 07 June 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1644 approx    
Location: 1 km SE Hoxton Park    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 23 February 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Bede Aircraft Inc  
Aircraft model Bede  
Aircraft registration VH-ECW  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Hoxton Park NSW  
Departure time 1644 approx  
Destination Hoxton Park NSW