Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA32R, VH-AOP, Mount Bundey Station NT, 1 April 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]

The pilot was requested to conduct an aerial survey in the Mount Bundey area, however, he evidently misunderstood the instructions and flight planned to Mt Bundey Station. This strip was 74 kilometres south-west of the passengers' expected destination. During the flight the front seat passenger, who was also a pilot, became concerned and questioned the pilot at length as to their route. Because of the confusion, and deteriorating weather conditions, the pilot decided to continue and land at the Station strip. A normal landing was subsequently carried out. The pilot then discovered that although the strip was 1100 metres long, a washaway had reduced the usable length to about 700 metres, and this was covered by long grass. After ascertaining the passengers' exact requirements, the pilot prepared for take-off. Acceleration was sluggish because of the long grass, and the stall warning was sounding continuously as the aircraft became airborne near the end of the strip. It failed to climb away, and collided with trees and fences before coming to rest. The aircraft Performance Charts indicated that a strip length of 840 metres was required for a safe take-off. It is likely that the pilot's performance was degraded because he was suffering the effects of a cold. The task had been allocated to him at short notice, and he was under some pressure from the passengers.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 01 April 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1315    
Location: Mount Bundey Station    
State: Northern Territory    
Release date: 26 October 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-32  
Aircraft registration VH-AOP  
Serial number 32R-8013109  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Mount Bundey Station NT  
Departure time 1315  
Destination Darwin NT