Aviation safety investigations & reports

Auster J1B, VH-ASK, Winterbourne (30km NE Walcha) NSW, 2 July 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was undertaking his third flight for the day, during which he completed a number of circuits and landings. Following a touch and go landing, the aircraft had reached a height of about 300 feet when it was seen to commence a turn back towards the strip. During the turn the nose dropped and the aircraft subsequently struck the ground in a steep nose-down attitude. Investigation revealed that there was virtually no fuel remaining in the tanks, and the that engine was not under power at the time of the accident. The pilot had refuelled the aircraft the day before the accident and he made a note of the fact that the main fuel tank was full and that the auxiliary tank was empty. He then flew the aircraft for 30 minutes. On the day of the accident the pilot flew a further three separate trips, including the accident flight, without refuelling. The total flight time for the four trips was estimated as 137 minutes and the calculated endurance, with the main tank full and the auxiliary empty, was 138 minutes. The pilot had constructed a number of emergency landing areas on his property for use in the event of an engine failure. One of these areas lay directly ahead of the aircraft on the centreline of the airstrip, however, the pilot did not attempt to use it.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 02 July 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1130 approx    
Location: Winterbourne (30km NE Walcha)    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 22 February 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Auster Aircraft Ltd  
Aircraft model J1  
Aircraft registration VH-ASK  
Serial number AUS474FM  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Winterbourne NSW  
Departure time 1130 approx  
Destination Winterbourne NSW