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The pilot was conducting superphosphate spreading operations in fine and clear weather conditions. The paddock being treated sloped uphill, and there were heavily timbered peaks beyond the paddock. The pilot had spread the paddock the previous day under similar conditions. On this occasion the aircraft was apparently performing normally as the first swath run was completed, but the aircraft did not appear to gain any appreciable height as it approached the hills. It was then seen to adopt a steep nose-up attitude and commence a wingover type manoeuvre. During this manoeuvre the aircraft struck trees and then impacted the ground. A fierce fire broke out and engulfed the wreckage. Although the investigation was hampered by the extensive fire damage, no defect or malfunction was discovered which might have contributed to the accident. The reason the pilot, who had extensive agricultural experience, chose to conduct swath runs towards steeply rising ground was not determined. The wind direction had changed since the previous day, and the aircraft was likely to have been affected by downdrafts on the lee side of the hills. When the pilot realised the aircraft was not performing as expected, he evidently attempted to dump the remaining load and reverse the direction. However, there was insufficient aircraft performance available to successfully complete this manoeuvre.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 19 July 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1045 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:"Glen Alpine" (6 km ENE of Werris Creek) Occurrence type:Loss of control 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 07 March 1989 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Airparts NZ Ltd 
Aircraft model: FU-24 
Aircraft registration: VH-HPP 
Serial number: 162 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:"Riley Springs" (5 km ENE of Werris Creek) NSW
Departure time:1042
Destination:"Riley Springs" NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 13 May 2014