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Factaul Information


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau did not conduct an on-scene investigation of this occurrence. The report presented below was prepared principally from information supplied to the Bureau.


On 8 March 2005, the Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd GA-8 aircraft, registered VH-FGN, was carrying emergency relief supplies from Muelaboh to Patek in Aceh Province, Indonesia, as part of the Tsunami relief effort. The aircraft occupants comprised the pilot and one passenger.

A level, 700 m long and 7 m wide portion of a bitumen-sealed roadway formed the designated landing area for the operator's relief flights into Patek. The landing area was not marked with runway markings.

Figure 1

The operator reported that the pilot misidentified the commencement of the landing area, and that the aircraft touched down about 400 m short of the commencement of that area.

There was debris adjacent to the part of the road where the aircraft landed.

Figure 2

During the landing flare, the aircraft's left wingtip struck some of that debris, and a 1 m portion of the left wingtip was dislodged. The impact yawed the aircraft to the left, and the right wingtip then contacted the ground.

The landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came to rest to the left of the sealed roadway, about 100 m from where the left wingtip initially struck the debris.

Figure 3

The two occupants were uninjured, and were able to exit the aircraft unaided.

Figure 4

The pilot held an Australian Commercial Pilot (Aeroplane) Licence, and was endorsed to fly the GA-8 aircraft. The operator provided induction training for the pilot at the commencement of his duties in Aceh Province. The training included one landing at Patek. The accident occurred four days after the pilot commenced duties in Aceh Province. During those four days, the pilot had performed two take-offs from Patek, and had landed there twice before the accident flight.

There was no evidence that environmental, mechanical, operational or other factors contributed to the circumstances of the accident.

The operator reported that as a result of the occurrence, it will conduct a risk analysis before the commencement of any new operations such as those conducted at Aceh Province. The operator also reported that it would include a special training module in its Operations Manual for pilots assigned to operations in Aceh, and that procedures for aircraft operating on roads would also be included in its Operations Manual.

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