Aviation safety investigations & reports

Corby Starlet, VH-CKM, Rottnest Island WA, 4 March 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot was carrying out aerobatic manoeuvres at 1500 feet over the sea near Rottnest Island. As the aircraft approached the top of a stall turn, under zero gravity conditions, the engine stalled and the propeller stopped. The engine was not fitted with an electric starter motor and there was insufficient altitude available to complete a windmill start. The pilot carried out a successful forced landing in the sea. Subsequent inspection revealed that the engine driven fuel pump had either failed, or was unable to produce sufficient fuel flow to sustain engine r.p.m, due to a split in the rubber diaphragm in the pump. It is probable that loss of fuel pump pressure combined with the the zero gravity conditions at the top of the stall turn caused fuel starvation which resulted in engine failure.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 04 March 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1025    
Location   (show map): Rottnest Island    
State: Western Australia    
Release date: 04 May 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer John C Corby  
Aircraft model CJ-1  
Aircraft registration VH-CKM  
Serial number N/A  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Rottnest Island WA  
Departure time 1015  
Destination Serpentine WA