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The pilot was spraying a bean crop in a valley. During a procedure turn the aircraft began to sink towards trees on the side of the valley. The pilot immediately applied full power and dumped the load, but the sink could not be arrested and the aircraft struck the trees. When the sink was encountered the pilot was committed to continue the turn to avoid terrain. The surface wind in the valley was a light southerly breeze, but there was a strong south-easterly at 2000 feet. The pilot had sprayed the field on previous occasions, and was familiar with the local area. The sink experienced on this occasion was considered to be the result of the strong wind at height combined with the local topography. This type of situation is documented in the Agricultural Pilots Manual. No faults were found with the aircraft that may have contributed to the occurrence. It was evident that when the sink occurred the performance available from the aircraft was insufficient to enable the pilot to avoid collision with the trees.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 19 March 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 800  
Location:Mt Sylvia (30 km South of Gatton) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 12 January 1989 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-25 
Aircraft registration: VH-PXO 
Serial number: 25-4497 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Gatton QLD
Departure time:0745
Destination:Gatton QLD
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