Aviation safety investigations & reports

Drifter, AUF25-0318, Orchid Beach Resort, Fraser Island QLD, 27 August 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft had an amphibious capability and began the flight via a water takeoff. The landing was to be made on a beach on the other side of the island. The aircraft was observed flying parallel to the beach a few hundred metres from the shoreline and at an estimated altitude of 200-400 feet, when it rolled right and suddenly spiralled into the water. Some witnesses indicated that they heard the engine noise interrupted just before the aircraft rolled while others said that the noise remained constant. No abnormality was found in the aircraft or its engine which might have contributed to the accident. There was positive evidence that the engine was delivering power when the aircraft struck the water. The pilot indicated that he was winding down the landing gear as he flew parallel to the beach. This may have distracted him, allowing the airspeed to decrease. The flightpath of the aircraft into the water was typical of the post-stall behaviour of Drifter aircraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 27 August 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1500    
Location: Orchid Beach Resort, Fraser Island    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 08 September 1989   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Austflight U.L.A. Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model 503  
Aircraft registration 25-0318  
Serial number N/K  
Type of operation Sports Aviation  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point West Coast, Fraser Island QLD  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Orchid Beach Resort, Fraser Island QLD