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The pilot landed the aircraft on a strip near the lake and visited a group of friends on the shore with his passenger. It was arranged that the pilot would return in the aircraft and fly past for some photographs to be taken. The first run past the group on the shore was made in an easterly direction. The aircraft was then seen to turn onto a westerly heading and position for a second flypast. The height of the aircraft above the water on the two passes was estimated to be about 60-80 feet although photographs of the event show it to be much lower. After passing over the the observers on the last run, the aircraft was seen to turn towards the east and start a steep climb. Witnesses reported that the speed of the aircraft reduced rapidly and, at about 150 feet above ground level, the engine noise apparently reduced or stopped. The aircraft then dropped the right wing and dived into the water. The aircraft was seen to sink rapidly and only the passenger extricated himself from the wreckage. He clung to the tail and was recovered quickly by rescuers in a power boat. Despite repeated dives, the pilot could not be reached and his body was removed after the wreckage was towed to shore. Detailed investigation did not reveal any faults or anomalies in the aircraft which could have contributed to the accident. Damage to the propeller was consistent with a strike under power. It is considered that the reduced power at the top of the steep climb was pilot induced during the attempted execution of a stall turn type manoeuvre. Discussions with witnesses and club members revealed that the pilot was overconfident in his attitude to flying the ultralight and would not readily accept advice or counselling on his handling the aircraft. It was further revealed that the pilot was prepared to perform in front of an adience and the events on the day of the accident support the conclusion that the pilot was engaged in an impromptu display in front of friends at the lake shore.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 22 September 1990 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1630  
Location:Lake Richardson (16 km ENE Woomera) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: South Australia Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 10 April 1991 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Austflight U.L.A. Pty Ltd 
Aircraft model: 503 
Aircraft registration: 25-0357 
Serial number: DR89-0383 
Type of operation: Sports Aviation 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Lake Richardson SA
Departure time:1625
Destination:Woomera SA
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