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The aircraft had departed from Bankstown with full tanks and flown to Gunnedah. After DEPARTURE for the return flight, the pilot was unable to climb to his planned cruising altitude of 7500 feet due to weather and spent some time climbing and descending to avoid cloud. Conditions subsequently improved and he was able to maintain 7500 for a short time. The weather then deteriorated markedly with heavy rain showers and low cloud. The pilot diverted towards the coast, but then became unsure of his position. Some time later the engine failed when the fuel in one tank was exhausted. After changing tanks, and realising that the fuel gauge indicated less than he expected, the pilot prepared for a precautionary landing on a disused strip. The aircraft was fast on the initial approach and the pilot carried out a go around. On the next approach, the aircraft bounced after touchdown and yawed to the left. The pilot overcorrected and on the second touchdown the aircraft veered to the right, ran off the edge of the strip and over an embankment. Approximately 4 litres of fuel remained in the aircraft tanks. There was no evidence of fuel leakage and no pre-existing fault was found with the aircraft. It was probable that the apparently higher than expected fuel consumption was due to the erratic nature of the flight combined with the leaning procedure adopted by the pilot.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 29 December 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1234  
Location:6.5 kms NW of Gosford Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 28 February 1990 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-PZR 
Serial number: 28-7790595 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Gunnedah NSW
Departure time:1059
Destination:Bankstown NSW
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