Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 402B, VH-TWZ, Cunnamulla QLD, 13 August 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was nearing the completion of 50 hours of flying under the supervision of the company chief pilot. For this flight the chief pilot decided to travel in the passenger section of the aircraft, to demonstrate his confidence in the pilot. The aircraft was rotated at 90 knots and just after liftoff, at about 50 feet above the runway, the pilot heard a loud bang and noticed smoke coming from the left engine. At about this time the chief pilot started to call instructions to the pilot. Power was increased on the right engine and the landing gear and flap retracted. However, the aircraft began to descend and veer to the left before touching down on its undersurface. It skidded for 103 metres and came to rest 155 metres to the left of the runway centreline abeam the upwind threshold. An inspection of the left engine revealed that the thread of a nut on one of the number 2 cylinder connecting rod big end bolts was stripped, causing the big end to become detached from the crankshaft and forcing the connecting rod through the crankcase. The reason for the stripping of the nut thread could not be established.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 August 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: N/A    
Location: Cunnamulla    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 11 August 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 402  
Aircraft registration VH-TWZ  
Serial number 402B0851  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Cunnamulla QLD  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Toowoomba QLD