Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA25-235, VH-PXI, "Nivan" (13 km north-west of Deniliquin) NSW, 6 November 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot intended to ferry the aircraft to another property. He reported that the engine started normally, and he immediately taxied the aircraft to the closest end of the airstrip, and commenced to take-off without having given the engine sufficient time to warm up. He later informed his employer that he had carried out all the necessary pretakeoff checks, including checking the carburettor heat operation. Shortly after becoming airborne the engine failed and the pilot was forced to land in a rough paddock. Inspection of the engine revealed that the carburettor heat scat hose, from the exhaust muff to the carburettor, was detached. No other faults were found which might have caused the engine to fail. The weather was fine and calm, the temperature five degrees Celsius, and the relative humidity approximately 70 per cent. From the Carburettor Icing - Probability Chart, as published in the Aviation Safety Digest Number 108, these conditions were conducive to serious carburettor icing under any power setting. The most probable cause of the engine failure was carburettor icing, and as the carburettor heat scat hose was adrift there was no means of providing heat to the carburettor to clear any ice accumulation. The pilot, in his haste to depart, did not check for the change in engine note and rpm which would indicate that the carburettor heat was functioning when he operated the carburettor heat control during the pretakeoff checks. This occurrence was not the subject of an on-site investigation.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 06 November 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 600    
Location: "Nivan" (13 km north-west of Deniliquin)    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 31 January 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-25  
Aircraft registration VH-PXI  
Serial number 25-4353  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point "Nivan" NSW  
Departure time N/K  
Destination "Wakool" NSW