Aviation safety investigations & reports

American Air AA5 - Traveller, VH-FXU, Cork Tree Well (40 km north Laverton) WA, 13 December 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On the day of the accident, the pilot took three of her work colleagues on a tour of the mine pits to the North of the camp. When the aircraft returned to the mine's airstrip, the pilot made a low pass over the camp with the canopy fully opened to drop water bombs, before commencing a climbing left turn to rejoin the circuit for a landing. Whilst the aircraft was climbing, the aircraft stalled. The pilot could not regain control before the aircraft collided with the trees. The pilot had been previously instructed not to make low passes over the campsite. The aircraft flight manual indicates that flight with the canopy partly open, but not fully open, is permissible. The effect of a fully opened canopy on the aerodynamics of the aircraft was not determined. The pilot apparently failed to ensure that she maintained a sufficient margin above the stalling speed during the climb out following the pass. This accident was not the subject of an on-scene investigation.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 13 December 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1830    
Location: Cork Tree Well (40 km north Laverton)    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 28 February 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer American Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model AA-5  
Aircraft registration VH-FXU  
Serial number AA5-0722  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Cork Tree Well WA  
Departure time 1740  
Destination Cork Tree Well WA