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Agricultural operations had finished for the day and the pilot and his loader driver had filled the two inboard fuel tanks prior to the 30 minute ferry flight back to home base. For agricultural operations a full inboard tank equates to at least one hour's endurance. Approximately one hour elapsed between the time the aircraft was refuelled and when the engine was started for the ferry flight back to home base. During that time the aircraft was parked on a significant slope and unknown to the pilot, fuel had transferred from the high wing to the low wing, even though the pilot had positioned the fuel selector to prevent this occurring. Because of an unserviceable alternator and low battery power, the engine had to be started by the use of jumper leads. Approaching the destination, the engine failed due to fuel starvation. The pilot changed tanks and activated the high prime which probably did not work because of the state of the battery. The engine failed to restart, and the aircraft touched down just short of the strip that the pilot was intending to land on. It then ran through a fence and gorse hedge causing substantial damage to the stub wings. The pilot discovered after landing that the right inboard tank, which had been selected during refuelling and for the ferry flight, was empty. However, the left inboard tank was full and there was also a significant amount of fuel in the left outboard tank which had been empty at the time of refuelling. Tests conducted showed that the fuel selector was faulty, allowing fuel to transfer from the high inboard tank to the lower inboard tank. Non-return valves were not fitted in the fuel supply lines to the selector. Fuel transfer was also possible between the left inboard and outboard tanks via the fuel vent line between the two, with the aircraft parked laterally across a significant slope. It was also established that the pilot did not physically check the fuel in each tank before start-up, nor did he check the fuel indicators in flight. At the time of the engine failure he had not commenced prelanding checks.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 30 March 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1750 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Whitemore  
State: Tasmania  
Release date: 08 November 1988 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Transavia Corp Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: PL-12 
Aircraft registration: VH-MYH 
Serial number: G893 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Oatlands TAS
Departure time:1720
Destination:Whitemore TAS
 
 
 
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