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On a flight from Coolangatta to Bonshaw, the pilot identified the Authorised Landing Area (ALA) by spotting a white utility vehicle which he had been assured would be waiting for him. After he landed he found this was not the ALA he had been looking for. After obtaining new directions from the driver of the utility, he inspected the paddock by driving the vehicle the full 1000m length available. During the subsequent takeoff the aircraft had accelerated to about 45 knots, when it encountered some undulations. This retarded its progress, but the pilot forced it into the air in ground effect. The aircraft did not accelerate further in the nose high attitude and sank back onto the ground. It overran the takeoff area and struck a boundary fence. Apparently the pilot had used two stages of flap for the takeoff attempt and had not availed himself of options to use a more suitable takeoff direction or off-load his passengers. His original destination was only a short distance away to the south-west.

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General details
Date: 17 November 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 745  
Location:Emu Plains, 5km North-East of Bonshaw Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Runway excursion 
Release date: 20 December 1989 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-SVY 
Serial number: 28-7615191 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Emu Plains QLD
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Bonshaw NSW
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