Aviation safety investigations & reports

de Havilland DH82-A, VH-CES, Cairns QLD, 29 August 1991

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The pilot under check advised the tower controller that the pilot in command wished to demonstrate an engine failure after takeoff from runway 33 and that they would land on runway 15. The controller gave approval for this sequence and issued a take-off clearance. Four minutes earlier, a Dash 8 aircraft had been cleared for takeoff (this aircraft was making an intersection DEPARTURE) from the same runway. VH-CES was observed to turn back towards the runway and descend normally, but contacted the ground adjacent to the runway right wing low and sideslipping to the right. The landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came to rest facing north-east. Wind at the time was from 030` at 5-10 kts. The pilot reported that the aircraft had experienced a bump similar to that when encountering wake turbulence. The bump was encountered shortly after the aircraft commenced the turn back to the runway, and after the throttle was closed. The aircraft then experienced windshear and downdraft to the extent that the rate of descent could not be arrested before ground impact. VH-CES took off some 2-3 min after the Dash 8. Because the Dash 8 weighs less than 25,000 kg, no wake separation standard was required to be applied by the aerodrome controller. The wake produced by the Dash 8 right wing would, in nil wind conditions, travel away from the runway at about 5 kts. Under the crosswind conditions prevailing at the time, however, the wake could have remained in the vicinity of the runway. This, along with the significant weight difference between the two aircraft, could have led to the flight path of VH-CES being adversely affected.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 29 August 1991   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1334 hours    
Location   (show map): Cairns    
State: Queensland    
Release date: 28 April 1992   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model DH-82  
Aircraft registration VH-CES  
Serial number 1077  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Cairns Qld  
Departure time 1333 hours  
Destination Cairns Qld  
Last update 13 May 2014