Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA28-180, VH-PYJ, Milparinka NSW, 11 November 1990

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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A party of people comprising five pilots and the family of one of the pilots left Shepparton on Friday 9th November in two aircraft. They intended using their destination, Milparinka, as a base for further flying over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, both aircraft were observed engaged in low flying activities. On Sunday afternoon, a discussion amongst a number of the pilots centred around streamer cutting and flour bombing activities. As a result, two of the pilots were keen to try their hand at flour bombing and packed four packs of flour for the exercise. The aircraft subsequently took off with one of the local residents occupyiny the front right seat and the other pilot in the rear seat directly behind the pilot-in-command. On the first bombing pass, the aircraft flew past the hotel at about 50 feet above ground level. One pack of flour was dropped from the pilot's storm window. The pack struck the ground some 70 metres beyond the hotel. Witnesses reported that on the second pass the aircraft was slow and even lower than on the previous pass. When the aircraft was in front of the hotel, they saw that the two pilots were trying to push a pack of flour out of the storm window, where it had apparently become jammed. The aircraft then pulled up and entered a steeply banked turn left. The left wing struck the roof of the courthouse which is located 100 metres beyond the hotel. The impact buckled the left wing tip and bent the outboard two metres of wing up at an angle of approximately ten degrees. The left bank gradually increased to in excess of 90 degrees, and the aircraft turned through 180 degrees before striking trees. It cartwheeled, crashed upside down in a dry river bed and caught fire. The first people on the scene were unable to assist the occupants.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 11 November 1990   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1441    
Location: Milparinka    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 13 December 1990   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-PYJ  
Serial number 28-2585  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Milparinka NSW  
Departure time 1435  
Destination Milparinka NSW