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During descent, approximately 20 kilometres from the destination aerodrome, the engine lost power. The pilot turned on the electric fuel pump, resulting in the engine briefly regaining power before stopping. By this time the aircraft was near the edge of a thunderstorm with associated rain and turbulence. The pilot attempted a forced landing onto a grass field but overshot the approach due to poor visibility and a tailwind. While manoeuvring to avoid obstacles, the left wing struck the ground, resulting in the aircraft landing heavily, collapsing both nose and right main landing gears. The pilot advised that the engine had lost power due to fuel exhaustion. He attributed this to the use of extra power during the flight to maintain altitude in the hot and turbulent conditions. The mixture had not been leaned to best economy due to an instruction to avoid high engine temperatures following recent maintenance work.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 02 December 1990 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1605  
Location   (show map):10 km N of Gunnedah Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 11 April 1991  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-WJZ 
Serial number: 28-8090006 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Ballina NSW
Departure time:1411
Destination:Gunnedah NSW
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