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Summary

Summary

The pilot had been airborne for about forty minutes when he decided to outland to talk to the ground mustering party. He selected a strip of ground, as an Authorised Landing Area, with sparse low mulga scrub on the sides and a patch at the end of the proposed landing area. Although the pilot overflew the selected area to check for obstructions, he did not carry out his customary low level inspection of the landing surface. The subsequent landing roll was reported to be smooth and uneventful. After talking with the ground party, they departed and the pilot elected to take off in the opposite direction to his landing as there was nil wind. About halfway down the strip on the takeoff roll, the pilot felt the left wheel strike an obstruction and the aircraft slewed to the left. It then ran through some mulga, about 35 metres to the left of the centre of the strip, as it paralleled the takeoff direction. The pilot recalled seeing an airspeed of about 40 knots at this point and as the aircraft was now clear of the scrub, he decided to continue the takeoff. The aircraft was recovered without further incident. The accident was not the subject of an on-scene investigation and the above information was provided by the pilot. Although the pilot's decision to continue with the takeoff did not contribute to the cause of the accident, it is considered that this was an error of judgement on his behalf. Subsequent examination of the damage revealed, amongst other things, that the right elevator balance horn had been torn off. Such damage could easily have led to control surface flutter, component failure and loss of control.

 
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