Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fletcher FU-24-950, VH-HPP, "Glen Alpine" (6 km ENE of Werris Creek) NSW, 19 July 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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    
Location: "Glen Alpine" (6 km ENE of Werris Creek)    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 07 March 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

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  
Last update 13 May 2014