Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA28-235, VH-DOC, 1 km SW of Orchid Beach, Fraser Is. QLD, 27 May 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The flight from Orchid Beach was to transport three passengers to Hervey Bay where they were booked on a scheduled flight departing at 1215 hours. The aircraft arrived at Orchid Beach at about 1200 hours, and the pilot hastily loaded the aircraft and departed. The takeoff appeared to be normal. The aircraft was seen to make a right turn at about 250 feet above the ground, level with a ridge to the southwest of the aerodrome. The turn was made abruptly, with about 45 degrees of bank. Witnesses then saw the bank angle reduce, and at the same time the aircraft began to lose height. The aircraft was last seen when it was diving in a 45 degree nose down attitude. The aircraft impacted the ground near the base of the ridge. The impact angle was 58 degrees below the horizontal, with a bank angle of 118 degrees and an aircraft speed at impact of approximately 80 knots. No defects were found with the aircraft that may have contributed to the development of the accident. The wind at the time was easterly at about 35 knots, and this would have generated considerable mechanical turbulence in the vicinity of the aerodrome due to the local topography. The behaviour of the aircraft during the moments preceding impact was consistent with a stall leading to loss of control. The wind conditions, excessive bank angle, and control manipulation may have all been contributory.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 27 May 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1203    
Location: 1 km SW of Orchid Beach, Fraser Is.    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 05 March 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-DOC  
Serial number 28-11311  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Orchid Beach QLD  
Departure time 1203  
Destination Hervey Bay QLD