Aviation safety investigations & reports

Air Tractor Inc AT-502, VH-SNA, near Rocky Gully WA, 14 August 1998

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The Air Tractor was being used to conduct aerial reconnaissance of a forestry area prior to spraying the trees. The north-easterly wind was gusting from about 15 kts and there was 8 OCTAS of low cloud with passing rain showers. The horizon was often obscured. The pilot reported that he encountered some turbulence during the flight.

On completion of the reconnaissance flight, the pilot decided to land towards the east-south-east. He reported that late in the landing approach, with full flap selected the aircraft unexpectedly rolled left. He was unable to correct the roll before the left landing gear struck the perimeter fence. The aircraft veered left and its left wing struck the chemical loader that was parked near the edge of the airstrip. The aircraft then cartwheeled before coming to rest inverted. The pilot and bystanders were unhurt but the aircraft was destroyed.

No deficiencies could be found with the aircraft that may have contributed to the accident.

General details
Date: 14 August 1998   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1100 hours WST    
Location   (show map): 19 km E Rocky Gully    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 04 August 1999   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor Inc  
Aircraft model AT502  
Aircraft registration VH-SNA  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Rocky Gully, WA  
Destination Rocky Gully, WA  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 350.0 9000
Last update 05 May 2016