Aviation safety investigations & reports

Grumman, VH-IFA, Near Medlow Bath Airstrip NSW, 25 December 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had borrowed the aircraft to fly to Medlow Bath to visit his brother who resided on the Blue mountains. He was accompanied by his father and a friend. The pilot had not previously flown from the Medlow Bath airstrip but had inspected it from the ground. After landing, the pilot and his passengers spent about 90 minutes on the ground. The wind appeared to be light and variable so the pilot decided to take off in the 24 direction. He said he lifted off at an indicated airspeed of 50 to 55 knots, but after the aircraft became airborne it did not accelerate or climb. The tailplane struck the branches of trees at the south-western end of the strip. Because the terrain fell away sharply at the end of the strip, the pilot said he lowered the nose of the aircraft in an attempt to increase airspeed. However, the left wing dropped and the aircraft entered an uncontrollable descending turn to the left. The aircraft impacted scrub covered terrain about 300 metres from the end of the strip. A passenger suffered a fractured arm as a result of ground impact. The pilot did not have the owner's permission to operate into the airstrip.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 25 December 1988   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1015    
Location: Near Medlow Bath Airstrip    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 11 December 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer American Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model AA-5  
Aircraft registration VH-IFA  
Serial number AA5A-0300  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Medlow Bath NSW  
Departure time N/A  
Destination Harden NSW