Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA28-181, VH-NAR, "Atholstone", 38 km west of Narrabri NSW, 17 March 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was conducting a charter flight to a property with a student pilot as passenger. The weather in the area of the destination was overcast with local rain showers and thunderstorms. Approaching the property the pilot made a long descent, under the cloud cover, to a low altitude to attract the attention of the property owner so that he would meet the aircraft on its arrival. At the bottom of the descent, as the pilot applied power for the go-around, the aircraft collided with powerlines. Slack in the long powerline span, and its separation from the support poles during the impact, allowed the aircraft to carry forward and land straight ahead on a road. During the landing roll the aircraft collided with heavy farm equipment parked at the side of the road causing severe damage to the tailplane and left hand flap. The pilot and passenger were wearing sunglasses in reduced light conditions which may have contributed to their failure to see the powerlines.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 17 March 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1630    
Location: "Atholstone", 38 km west of Narrabri    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 28 February 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-NAR  
Serial number 28 8290106  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Moree NSW  
Departure time 1600  
Destination "Atholstone" NSW