Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with Terrain - Fairchild Metro 23 aircraft, VH-TFU 11km NW Lockhart River Aerodrome, Qld 7 May 2005

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 7 May 2005, a Fairchild Aircraft Inc. SA227-DC Metro 23 aircraft, registered VH-TFU, with two pilots and 13 passengers, was being operated by Transair on an instrument flight rules regular public transport service from Bamaga to Cairns, with an intermediate stop at Lockhart River, Queensland. At 1143:39 Eastern Standard Time, the aircraft impacted terrain in the Iron Range National Park on the north-western slope of South Pap, a heavily timbered ridge, approximately 11 km north-west of the Lockhart River aerodrome. At the time of the accident, the crew was conducting an area navigation global navigation satellite system (RNAV (GNSS)) non-precision approach to runway 12. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and an intense, fuel-fed, post-impact fire. There were no survivors.

The accident was almost certainly the result of controlled flight into terrain, that is, an airworthy aircraft under the control of the flight crew was flown unintentionally into terrain, probably with no prior awareness by the crew of the aircraft's proximity to terrain. The investigation report identifies a range of contributing and other safety factors relating to the crew of the aircraft, Transair's processes, regulatory oversight of Transair by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and RNAV (GNSS) approach design and chart presentation. It also details safety action taken by various agencies to address the identified safety issues, and includes safety recommendations relating to those safety issues that had not been addressed by relevant agencies at the time of publication of this report.



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Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 6.29MB]

Previously Released

Download Interim Factual Report
[Download  PDF: 1.72MB]

Preliminary Report released 03/06/05

Download Preliminary Report 200501977 (406kb)

Interim Factual Report released 31/08/06

Download Interim Technical Analysis Report 200501977 (5000Kb)

Download Interim Factual Report
[Download  PDF: 1.72MB]
General details
Date: 07 May 2005   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1144 EST    
Location: 11 km NW Lockhart River, Aero.    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: CFIT  
Release date: 04 April 2007   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Industries Inc  
Aircraft model SA227-DC  
Aircraft registration VH-TFU  
Serial number DC 818B  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Sector Turboprop  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Bamaga, QLD  
Departure time 1111 hours EST  
Destination Lockhart River, QLD  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 3248.0 6071
Co-Pilot/1st Officer Commercial 150.0 655.0
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 2 13 0 15
Total: 2 13 0 15
Last update 16 September 2016