Aviation safety investigations & reports

De Havilland Canada DHC2-Mk1 Beaver Amphibian, VH-HQE, Palm Bay, Long Is, 10 km West of Hamilton Is QLD, 10 August 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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After a normal preflight inspection and takeoff, the pilot selected the landing gear up. The indicators were later checked and the pilot found that all the up lights were indicating normally, but one down light was also on. During the short flight the pilot operated the landing gear a number of times. He was satisfied throughout the flight that the landing gear was retracting; his only concern being whether the gear would extend again on his return flight. During the gear checking the aircraft arrived in the circuit area of the destination. The pilot made routine radio calls to his company and Townsville Flight Service, checked for boats in the landing area and noted that there were only four landing gear lights illuminated. On touchdown the pilot was unable to prevent the aircraft from pitching excessively nose down. The aircraft came to rest with the engine and some of the wings in the water. Subsequent actions by the pilot and a nearby boat resulted in the aircraft being righted and then towed to a mooring site. The landing gear had been in the down position for the landing. Since the landing gear indicating system uses four blue lights to indicate gear up and four green lights to indicate gear down, the pilot concedes that he had not noted the colour of the lights adequately in order to determine whether the gear was up or down.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 10 August 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 745    
Location: Palm Bay, Long Is, 10 km West of Hamilton Is    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 10 October 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Canada  
Aircraft model DHC-2  
Aircraft registration VH-HQE  
Serial number 298  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Shute Harbour Airstrip QLD  
Departure time 0740  
Destination Palm Bay QLD