Aviation safety investigations & reports

Engine power loss, Lancair 360, VH-ZNZ, Bankstown Airport, NSW, 5 April 2006

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 845KB]
General details
Date: 05 April 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1440 EST    
Location   (show map): Bankstown, Aero    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Fuel starvation  
Release date: 21 February 2007   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Neico Aviation Inc  
Aircraft model Lancair 360  
Aircraft registration VH-ZNZ  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Bankstown, NSW  
Departure time 1429 EST  
Destination Bankstown, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 51 1728
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 0 0 1
Total: 1 0 0 1
Last update 18 April 2018