Aviation safety investigations & reports

Total power loss Maxair Drifter, 120 km SE Burketown, QLD, 25 April 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot reported that he was flying at about 100 feet above ground level when the engine failed suddenly and completely over thick scrub. He decided to stall the aircraft into the foliage canopy, but the aircraft did not make contact with the main canopy other than small branches, and impacted the ground at a 60 degree nose down attitude from a height of about 40 to 50 feet. The nose section, undercarriage and fuel tank were totally destroyed on impact. Examination of the engine has not revealed any mechanical defect. The pilot believes he may have inadvertently bumped the "engine kill switch" to the off position with his knee. The Bureau has been advised by the Australian Ultralight Federation that this particular switch has since been fitted with a shroud to prevent inadvertent operation.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 25 April 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300    
Location: Neumayer Valley (120 km SE Burketown)    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 03 July 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Austflight U.L.A. Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model Maxair Drifter  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Neumayer Valley QLD  
Destination Neumayer Valley QLD  
Last update 21 March 2016