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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 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory  
Release date: 26 October 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
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
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