Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna Aircraft Company 182Q, VH-LMH

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The pilot reported that while in cruise flight over water, the C182 aircraft was subjected to a strong downdraft. The pilot immediately reduced engine power to slow the aircraft in anticipation of further turbulence. Having established the desired airspeed, the pilot attempted to re-apply power but the engine did not respond. He selected carburettor heat and attempted several times to start the engine.

As there was no suitable landing area on nearby Huon Island, the pilot ditched the aircraft 1 km from the mainland shore. Three of the four occupants exited the aircraft unassisted; the fourth had to be pulled free by the pilot. All then made their way to the shoreline.

Subsequent salvage attempts were unable to locate the wreckage. Consequently, to assess the airworthiness of the aircraft, the investigation could examine only the aircraft documentation. No deficiencies that might have contributed to the accident were identified.

Information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology indicated that atmospheric conditions at the time of the engine failure were conducive to the formation of moderate to severe carburettor icing. The formation of ice in the carburettor venturi can result in partial or complete loss of power. Contamination of the fuel system was also considered. However, the aircraft operator said that the aircraft had not been fuelled from known contaminated batches.

The investigation could not determine why the engine failed. However, it is possible that carburettor icing formed after the pilot reduced power in response to the turbulent conditions.

General details
Date: 21 January 2000   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1615 hours ESuT    
Location   (show map): 1 km S Verona Sands    
State: Tasmania   Occurrence type: Ditching  
Release date: 01 August 2000   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 182  
Aircraft registration VH-LMH  
Serial number 18266830  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Cambridge, TAS  
Departure time 1552 hours ESuT  
Destination Melaleuca, TAS  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 12.6 292
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Minor: 1 3 0 4
Total: 1 3 0 4
Last update 13 May 2014