Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving a Air Tractor Inc AT-301, VH-FAQ, 10km SE Crystal Brook, (ALA), SA on 9 October 1998

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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While conducting spraying operations, the aircraft hit a single wire earth return (SWER) power line. The power line contacted the propeller and proceeded to wrap about the propeller hub. The power line was pulled taut by the aircraft, the pilot lost control, and the aircraft impacted the ground 1,000 metres beyond the point of wire contact. The lateness of the day combined with low overcast is believed to have contributed to the pilot's inability to detect the wire in his flightpath. During the impact sequence, the underfloor framework with the attachment points for the seat and seat belt appear to have distorted altering their geometry. This in turn may have allowed sufficient movement of the pilot against the loosened restraints for his head to contact with the instrument panel. As he was wearing a helmet at the time, the sequence resulted in severe concussion and not a more serious head trauma.
Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 14KB]
General details
Date: 09 October 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 18:12 CST    
State: South Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 24 November 1998   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor Inc  
Aircraft model AT-301  
Aircraft registration VH-FAQ  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Calvin Grove SA  
Destination Gladstone SA