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Summary

Summary

The Aerostar was being flown on a passenger charter flight from Maitland, NSW to Olympic Dam, SA. Arriving in the circuit area, the pilot reported that he observed the windsock indicating a surface wind of 240 degrees at 10 knots. However, because the runway length of 1591 m was more than adequate, he elected to land on runway 06 with a tailwind component. He said he flew a normal approach using 45 degrees of flap, touching down about 150 m beyond the landing threshold. Shortly after touching down the aircraft was struck by a strong wind gust and diverged to the left. The pilot was unable to prevent the aircraft from departing the sealed runway surface and entering an area of soft earth. The right main landing gear collapsed and the right propeller struck the ground, stopping the engine. After the aircraft had stopped, the pilot shutdown the left engine and evacuated the two passengers. Nobody was injured. A local pilot who arrived at the site shortly after the accident estimated the wind as 240 degrees at 25 to 35 knots, but with regular gusts from the north. He also reported that the wind conditions had been similar all morning. The pilot of the Aerostar subsequently reported that local pilots said that the terrain around the landing area can produce a wind funnelling effect along and across the runway, which may not have been readily apparent. A significant factor in this accident was the decision of the pilot to land on a runway affected by a marked downwind component.
 
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