The aircraft was observed shortly after it had taken off towards
the south-east, flying at a very low eight along the beach towards
the Tangalooma resort. The aircraft flew over the resort area, and
was seen by witnesses to perform a steep climbing manoeuvre. The
aircraft then descended steeply, dived into the water whilst
heading in a westerly direction away from the resort, and
The aircraft appeared to be operating normally prior to the
accident. There was no physiological or mechanical evidence found
which may have contributed to the development of the accident. No
defect was found which may have precluded normal engine operation;
however the engine appears to have not been delivering power at the
time of impact.
The prevailing wind at the time of the accident was a strong
south-easterly which is known to cause mechanical turbulence in the
lee of the island. This may have affected the pilot's ability to
recover from the manoeuvre under the circumstances.
The investigation did not reveal any reason for the unusually low
flight path and manoeuvre immediately prior to the accident. The
engine could not be functionally tested because of impact
The following factor was considered relevant to the development of
the accident: The pilot attempted a manoeuvre at a height from
which safe recovery could not be effected.