Aviation safety investigations & reports

Amateur Built Aircraft RV-6 , VH-YGH

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The student pilot was being tested in an RV-6 aircraft, registered VH-YGH, for the issue of a private pilot's licence. Witnesses reported that the takeoff and initial climb appeared to be normal until about 500 ft above ground level when the aircraft's engine noise appeared to cease. The aircraft was observed to maintain a wings level attitude for a short distance before commencing a steep descending turn to the left. The aircraft contacted the top of several trees, rolled inverted and impacted the ground. Both occupants sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.

Witnesses reported that the weather at the time was fine, "slightly cloudy" and with a south-easterly breeze.

The instructor reported that he had called for a simulated engine failure at about 300 ft above ground level. The student pilot closed the throttle and altered heading about 40 degrees, seemingly towards a nearby open field. He then indicated to the instructor that he was at 500 ft and would return to the runway. The instructor had previously noted that when the aircraft's altimeter read 500 ft, because the airfield elevation was 130 ft AMSL, the actual height above the runway was about 300 ft. As the instructor was looking back to check the relative position of the runway, the aircraft's nose and left wing suddenly dropped. The instructor took the controls and recovered the aircraft to a wings level attitude, however there was insufficient height remaining to prevent contact with the trees.

The student pilot was not able to remember any details of the accident flight beyond the take-off and initial climb.

The reported evidence is consistent with the aircraft stalling during an attempted turn to land on the reciprocal of the take-off runway, following a simulated engine failure.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (formerly BASI) did not conduct an on-site investigation into this accident.

General details
Date: 30 November 1999   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1515 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Childers, (ALA)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 26 April 2000   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Amateur Built Aircraft  
Aircraft model Vans RV-6  
Aircraft registration VH-YGH  
Serial number 22873  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Childers, QLD  
Departure time 1515 hours EST  
Destination Caloundra, QLD  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 11.0 7600
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Serious: 2 0 0 2
Total: 2 0 0 2
Last update 13 May 2014