On 5 April 2006, the pilot of an amateur-built Lancair 360 aircraft, registered VH-ZNZ, was conducting circuits at Bankstown Airport, NSW. It was the aircraft's first flight since being repaired after a landing accident in 2003.
Following an overflight and a touch-and-go, the pilot conducted another touch-and-go and shortly after lift-off, at an altitude estimated by witnesses to be between 100 ft and 400 ft, the engine was heard to malfunction. Almost immediately, while still not above 500 ft, the aircraft rolled into a steep right turn. Engine power was heard to return, but sounded intermittent. After turning approximately 90 degrees, the aircraft rolled out of the turn momentarily to about wings level, before the turn steepened again to the right. The aircraft was observed to roll further to the right and descend steeply. The aircraft impacted a taxiway, the pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft destroyed.
The investigation found that the engine power loss was probably due to interruptions of fuel flow to the engine, but could not conclusively determine the reason. The aircraft stalled at a height insufficient to allow the pilot to recover.
The investigation identified a number of safety issues related to stall warning, management of incomplete engine power loss after takeoff, pilot transition training and the provision of information to purchasers of amateur-built aircraft.
Following the occurrence, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Sport Aircraft Association of Australia implemented a number of safety actions. As a result of this and other occurrences the Australian Transport Safety Bureau initiated a broader investigation into loss of control following engine power loss after takeoff.
|Date:||05 April 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|State:||New South Wales||Occurrence type:||Fuel starvation|
|Release date:||21 February 2007||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Neico Aviation Inc|
|Aircraft model||Lancair 360|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Destroyed|
|Departure point||Bankstown, NSW|
|Departure time||1429 EST|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|