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Earlier in the day, the pilot had flown his aircraft from Great Keppel Island to Rockhampton to hand-feed his cattle. While he was completing the task storms moved into the area and rain began to fall. By the time the pilot returned to the airport the conditions were unsuitable for visual flight. He waited at the control tower for about an hour until the storms to the east of the airport cleared. He then departed and tracked via the Fitzroy River with the intention of proceeding up the the coast to the island. En route, a weather report was obtained from the island that indicated that the weather there was clear. When the aircraft was in the Emu Park area the pilot reported that he was unable to see either the island or Yeppoon and as the weather was deteriorating, and the cloud ceiling was about 400 ft, he decided to land at Emu Park. He joined the circuit area but on the downwind leg he was unable to sight the strip markers. The pilot continued the approach and as the aircraft turned onto the base leg it entered rain. On final the pilot had difficulty seeing through the rain covered windscreen but he stated that he was able to make out the length of the strip. When the aircraft passed over the threshold of the cleared area the pilot closed the throttle and the aircraft landed. He then realised that the aircraft had landed about 10 metres to the right of the airstrip. Shortly after touchdown the aircraft ran through a depression in the ground and the landing gear and left wing and engine were torn off. The right wing was bent as the aircraft spun around before coming to rest. The cabin area remained intact and the pilot was able to evacuate the aircraft uninjured. The pilot stated after the accident that he had considered going around during the approach but believed that weather conditions were such that he may have had difficulty maintaining flight in visual conditions.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 13KB]
General details
Date: 25 December 1994 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 18:05 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: VFR into IMC 
Release date: 15 February 1995 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-30 
Aircraft registration: VH-PFC 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Rockhampton QLD
Destination:Great Keppel Island QLD
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Last update 21 October 2014