Aviation safety investigations & reports

Rotec Panther Ultralight, Not Registered, 3 km East of Bulga NSW, 21 November 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The owner pilot had recently recovered his aircraft with new fabric, and is reported to have taxied it up and down the strip for approximately one hour before taking off. About 15 minutes after the aircraft became airborne, a witness reported that he heard a loud bang, followed by the engine noise stopping, and then observed the aircraft spiralling toward the ground from an estimated height of 600 feet. The aircraft impacted in an inverted attitude in a creek. The investigation revealed that the propeller had fractured in flight. It is considered likely, that due to the severe vibrations associated with the loss of part of the propeller blade, the pilot would have shut the engine down. The reason for the propeller failure could not be positively established. A modification to the engine installation had raised the aircraft thrust line and the pilot had carried out a number of additional modifications which moved the centre of gravity rearwards. It is considered probable that when the engine was shut down, a rapid pitch up occurred. Before the pilot could regain control, the aircraft stalled and fell into a spiral dive, from which there was insufficient height to recover.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 21 November 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 920    
Location: 3 km East of Bulga    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Propeller/rotor malfunction  
Release date: 26 May 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Unknown  
Aircraft model Rotec Panther Ultralight  
Aircraft registration Not registered  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point 3 km E Bulga NSW  
Departure time 0905  
Destination N/K