Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control; Canyonleigh, NSW; Boeing Stearman, N-73410

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 19 September 2006, at approximately 1630 Eastern Standard Time, the pilot of a Boeing Stearman, registered N-73410, experienced a control problem while taxiing. The pilot reported that while conducting engine and power checks the aircraft inadvertently became airborne after hitting a bump on the airstrip that coincided with a gust of wind. He decided to continue with the takeoff intending to complete a circuit and return the aircraft to the airstrip. The pilot reported that after banking to the left, he lost aileron control and the aircraft impacted the ground, flipped over and came to rest in an inverted position. The passenger received minor injuries and the pilot was uninjured. The aircraft was substantially damaged.

The pilot stated that prior to the accident he had engaged the flight controls lock on the aircraft while it was stationary on the airstrip. He reported that during the taxi runs he discovered that the flight controls lock was still engaged so he unlocked it. He subsequently believes that this action was unsuccessful and was why he was unable to control the aircraft during the takeoff.

Five witnesses, who had earlier in the day assisted the pilot to move furniture, reported that they understood from the pilot that if the weather conditions were suitable, three of them would get a flight in the Stearman. The aircraft did not have a current maintenance release and was not airworthy.

The investigation was unable to reconcile the discrepancies between the pilot and witness reports.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 234KB]
General details
Date: 19 September 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1700 EST    
Location   (show map): Canyonleigh    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 03 April 2007   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Minor  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 75  
Aircraft registration N73410  
Serial number 75-7761  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Canyonleigh, NSW  
Departure time 17:05  
Destination Canyonleigh, NSW  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command ATPL 150 11600
Last update 18 April 2018