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On 26 March 2006, at about 1800 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Cessna 188B Agwagon aircraft, registered VH-ZIP, was reported to have taken off from a field adjacent to a local water-ski area, about 59 km south-west of Narrandera, NSW, with the pilot as the sole occupant. The following morning at about 0900, the aircraft wreckage was found by a passer-by at a position 55 km south of Narrandera and about 8 km from the departure area. The aircraft was destroyed, there was no fire and the pilot was fatally injured.

There was no evidence that the pilot experienced any physiological condition which could have contributed to the accident. Weather conditions in the area were reported to be fine with little or no wind and there were no overhead powerlines or other obstacles in the vicinity. The aircraft had impacted the ground heavily, in a nose-down, right wing-low attitude, consistent with a low-speed stall or aerobatic manoeuvre. There was no evidence of a flight control or systems problem which could have contributed to the accident and the engine and propeller were producing power at the time of impact.

The pilot was reported to have been known to conduct 'high-risk' aerial activities, including aerobatic flight in agricultural aircraft. A number of photographs taken shortly before the final flight showed him conducting low passes over the water-ski site with the aircraft's main wheels in contact with the surface of the water. During the accident flight he was reported to have conducted very low passes over a departing vehicle, more low passes over the water with the main wheels in contact with the water's surface and what was described to be manoeuvres consistent with aerobatic flight.

The investigation concluded that the pilot was probably conducting an aerobatic flight manoeuvre from which collision with terrain could not be prevented.

Release date: 27 April 2006

Aviation Occurrence Investigation Report - 200601509 - Preliminary
Collision with Terrain 55 km South of Narrandera, NSW 26 March 2006 Cessna 188B, VH-ZIP [188kb PDF]

Please note: The above report has been superseeded by the final report.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 282KB]
General details
Date: 26 March 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1815 ESuT  
Location   (show map):55 km South Narranderra Aero Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 04 December 2006 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 188 
Aircraft registration: VH-ZIP 
Serial number: 18801338T 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Colombo Creek, NSW
Departure time:1800 ESuT
Destination:'Sandside' near Morundah, NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Fatal: 1001
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Last update 18 April 2018