Aviation safety investigations & reports

Avtech Pty Ltd JABIRU ST3, VH-XLX, Southport Aero, 29 September 2001

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


The pilot and his passenger were conducting a private flight in the pilot's Jabiru aircraft in the Southport area. Several other pilots heard the pilot advise over the radio that he was conducting a simulated engine failure and glide approach. The aircraft subsequently impacted a steep embankment short of runway 19 at Southport aerodrome and on the extended runway centreline. The embankment was approximately 2 m high, about 210 m from the displaced approach threshold and 30 m short of the sealed runway surface. Both occupants sustained fatal injuries.

An examination of the wreckage indicated that the aircraft had impacted the embankment in a moderately nose-high, left wing-low attitude. Damage to the propeller indicated that the engine was delivering significant power at the time of impact. There were no known flight control deficiencies and the evidence indicated that the aircraft was capable of normal flight prior to the accident.

Local procedures required that pilots conduct right circuits when operating on runway 19. Tall trees adjacent to the aerodrome induced localised mechanical turbulence, windshear and downdrafts when the wind was from the southeast. At the time of the accident, the wind was recorded on the Gold Coast Seaway as 150 degrees at 15 kts, gusting to 18 kts.

It is likely that the aircraft entered an area of turbulence and high sink rate generated by the prevailing wind over the adjacent trees. Given the evidence of significant power at the time of impact, it is possible that the pilot had initiated a go around at a stage in the approach from which it was not possible to establish a positive rate of climb.

General details
Date: 29 September 2001   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0955 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Southport, Aero.    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 04 December 2001   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Avtech Pty Ltd  
Aircraft model ST3  
Aircraft registration VH-XLX  
Serial number ST 0011  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Southport, QLD  
Departure time 0925 hours EST  
Destination Southport, QLD  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Private 240 1020
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 1 0 2
Total: 1 1 0 2
Last update 13 May 2014