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The flight to Melbourne was planned via Canberra Corryong and Eildon Weir with a cruising level of 8000 feet. The weather forecast for the route included scattered cumulus cloud to 10000 feet and areas of broken strato-cumulus cloud from 3000 to 7000 feet. The forecast freezing level was 6500 feet. The aircraft was not equipped with wing or propeller deicing systems but had the standard pitot heater as well as a stall warning vane heater. The flight at an indicated airspeed of 150 knots proceeded uneventfully apart from some ice buildup on the windscreen and wings which seemed to clear when the aircraft exited from cloud. However shortly after passing Corryong the pilot felt a vibration through the aircraft. The auto-pilot was disengaged but the vibrations rapidly worsened and the aircraft suddenly rolled and began to lose height. At this stage the airspeed was still indicating 150 knots and the aircraft was turning right in a right wing low attitude. The pilot recalled applying left rudder and moving the yoke forward and sensing that the airspeed which was then indicating zero was increasing. Control of the aircraft was regained at about 5500 feet (Lowest Safe Altitude for the sector was 6700 feet). The pilot found later that the pitot heat circuit breaker had popped thus deactivating the pitot heater. This would have allowed the pitot head to become iced up and cause false airspeed indications. It was not until after the incident that the pilot thought to look at the No 2 Air Speed Indicator (ASI) on the right instrument panel. This instrument which operates independently of the ASI on the left instrument panel was operating normally. Normal operation of the pilot's ASI did not return until the aircraft was on descent to Melbourne.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 06 October 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Near Mitta Mitta  
State: Victoria  
Release date: 31 August 1990 Occurrence category: Incident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 404 
Aircraft registration: VH-ARQ 
Serial number: 4040219 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Sydney NSW
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Melbourne VIC
 
 
 
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