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It was reported that planned mustering and other activities had been significantly delayed by poor weather and there was pressure to complete the task. The pilot did not sleep well on the night prior to the accident because of his concern about progress. On the day of the accident the station strip was assessed as unsuitable for aircraft operations due to its soft surface. As a last resort, arrangements were made to fly the aircraft from an access road. A straight section of the road, 350 m long, was selected. There was a cattle grid, with guide-posts, at the end of the section. The pilot estimated there was sufficient distance available to become safely airborne. During the takeoff the pilot experienced control difficulties caused by vehicle ruts in the road surface. The aircraft veered to the left and the left main wheel entered a soft area. The aircraft's acceleration was retarded but, as there was insufficient room to stop safely, the pilot continued with the takeoff. Immediately after lift-off there was a loud bang. The pilot thought the tail wheel had struck one of the guide-posts. Although the aircraft appeared to be operating normally, he elected to complete an immediate landing on a serviceable airstrip about a kilometre away. During the landing roll the left main landing gear collapsed as a result of damage caused by the collision with the post.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 15KB]
General details
Date: 28 June 1996 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 9:50 WST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 05 August 1996 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-22-150 
Aircraft registration: VH-DMH 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Karratha Station WA
Destination:Karratha Station WA
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Last update 28 October 2014