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The aircraft had taken off on runway 24 towards a range of hills. Wind at the time was reported as a steady 20 knots from the south-west, straight down the runway. After take-off, the pilot retracted the landing gear and reduced power for climb. He reported that soon after, the aircraft encountered a windshear, lost airspeed and failed to climb. He did not reapply full power. There were no clear areas ahead so he commenced a left turn; however, the airspeed decayed further and the left wing dropped. The aircraft struck the top branches of a 15 m pine tree, rolling inverted before coming to rest approximately 15 m from a house. The occupants were trapped in the wreckage until emergency services arrived. The accident site was approximately 1 250 m south-west of the end of the runway. The terrain is below a five percent gradient, but beyond this area it rises quite steeply to a ridge line approximately 5 km from the runway. No fault was found with the aircraft. There was evidence from propeller strike marks on severed branches that the engine had been delivering substantial power at the time of impact. The area is well known for local wind effects due to the terrain. The prevailing wind direction would have been conducive to wind shear in the lee of the ridge where the accident occurred. This is the second of three similar accidents which have occurred within an area of 1.5 km during the last few years. In each case the aircraft failed to outclimb the terrain after taking off from runway 24.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 06 May 1990 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1140  
Location:Mittagong Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 16 September 1991 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Mooney Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: M20 
Aircraft registration: VH-WCT 
Serial number: 3074 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Mittagong NSW
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Mittagong NSW
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