Aviation safety investigations & reports

Britten Norman BN2-26, VH-BSN, 56 km north-west Derby WA, 22 May 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot had planned the direct track for the flight from Cockatoo Island to Derby at 5500 feet above sea level. When the pilot gave his DEPARTURE call he amended his cruising level to below 5000 feet. No further calls were received from the aircraft. The Cockatoo Island work boat was 56 kilometres north-north-west of Derby, and approximately 20 kilometres west of the direct track between Cockatoo Island and Derby. The crew of the boat observed an aircraft approaching at very low level. The aircraft passed over the boat approximately 5-7 metres above the deck, and entered a right hand turn. During the turn the right wing tip struck the water causing the aircraft to cartwheel and crash about 400 metres from the boat. The fuselage broke open on impact and the occupants were subsequently rescued by the crew of the boat. The pilot declined to provide any information which might have clarified the circumstances of the accident, however, available information indicates that he carried out an unauthorized low pass over the boat. During the turn following the low pass, he misjudged the aircraft's height and the right wing tip struck the water.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 22 May 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1350    
Location: 56 km north-west Derby    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 01 May 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Britten-Norman Ltd  
Aircraft model BN2  
Aircraft registration VH-BSN  
Serial number 3005  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Cockatoo Island WA  
Departure time 1331  
Destination Derby WA