Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA25-260, VH-PXO, Mt Sylvia (30 km South of Gatton) QLD, 19 March 1988

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 12 January 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

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