Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna 172N, VH-EIH, 20 km north-east Booligal NSW, 19 July 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot of the Cessna was operating in conjunction with an agricultural aircraft. As the latter aircraft was making an approach to land, the Cessna pilot indicated that he would make an inspection of a nearby strip. The agricultural pilot observed the Cessna making a low pass over the second strip, with the wing flaps selected up. He lost sight of the Cessna as he concentrated on his own landing. The Cessna was subsequently found to have collided with the ground in a left hand turn with 45 degrees of bank, with almost no forward speed and a higher than normal rate of descent. The flaps were retracted and the engine was rotating at high rpm at the time of impact. The wreckage was located 50 metres to the left of the centreline and in line with the DEPARTURE end of the strip that the pilot was inspecting. The investigation did not disclose any defects with the aircraft that may have contributed to the accident. The investigation found that the aircraft was in a fully stalled condition at the time of collision with the ground. It appeared that the pilot made a low flapless inspection pass along the wet flight stip. At the end of the pass with full power he pulled up and entered a left hand turn. During the entry to the turn the aircraft stalled and there was insufficient height to complete a recovery. The factors which caused the pilot to lose control of the aircraft could not be positively determined. However, investigations of accidents that have occurred under similar circumstances, indicate that overconcentration on some aspect of the flight, eg. the flight strip inspection or distraction by something outside the aircraft can result in a pilot paying insufficient attention to the operation of the aircraft. This in turn can lead to a loss of control at low level, often with insufficient time and height available for the pilot to recover before the aircraft collides with the ground.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 19 July 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1515    
Location: 20 km north-east Booligal    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 05 June 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-EIH  
Serial number 1727344  
Type of operation Business  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Natue NSW  
Departure time 1400  
Destination Natue NSW