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The pilot said that he loaded the aircraft at the north-western end of the 1,000 m strip oriented south-east/north-west. The strip was partially sheltered from the wind by bordering trees. There was a strong, gusting northerly wind blowing. The pilot assessed that there would be a slight tailwind component for a takeoff on runway 12 but believed it was acceptable. During the initial climb after takeoff, the aircraft was subjected to a strong gust of wind which caused it to yaw to the left. It was then struck by another gust. The left wing dropped and the pilot was unable to regain control before the wing struck the ground. The aircraft cartwheeled onto the right wing and came to rest upright. An assessment of the weather conditions existing at the time of the accident was made by the Bureau of Meteorology. The wind was from the north at 12 kts with gusts to 19 kts. The temperature was 30 degrees C which meant that the density altitude for the takeoff was about 1,800 ft. The presence of trees which sheltered the strip indicated that turbulence and/or windshear was likely above the tree line. This could have caused the aircraft to lose performance as it climbed above the level of the trees to the extent that it stalled. The height the aircraft was at was probably insufficient to allow recovery before contact with the ground.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 16KB]
General details
Date: 16 November 1996 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 8:30 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 12 March 1997 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 180J 
Aircraft registration: VH-BBF 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Sweers Island QLD
Destination:Groote Eylandt QLD
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Last update 28 October 2014