Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wirestrike, Nelson, Vic, 24 December 2006, VH-ALO, Auster Aircraft Co. J1/A1

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 24 December 2006, an Auster J1/A1 aircraft, registered VH-ALO, departed from a private airstrip at Nelson Victoria with the pilot being the sole occupant on board.

During the initial climb out, the aircraft was observed making a low-level right turn towards two hangars where three people were standing to watch the departure.

The aircraft was observed striking powerlines. The aircraft impacted the ground inverted, at a steep angle. The pilot was fatally injured.

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Preliminary report released 8 February 2007

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On 24 December 2006, the owner-pilot of an Auster Aircraft Company J1/A1 aircraft, registered VH-ALO, was intending to ferry the aircraft from a private airstrip at Nelson, Vic, to Akuna station S.A. The pilot was the sole occupant. At approximately 0930 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, the pilot commenced a takeoff towards the west. Three people were standing between two hangars that were to the north of the airstrip and they observed that the aircraft became airborne before it reached the taxiway leading from the hangars to the runway. When the aircraft was adjacent to the taxiway, it made a low level right turn towards the hangars.

One witness, who was an experienced pilot, reported that the aircraft climbed suddenly just prior to striking a power line that was located on the airstrip side of the hangars. The aircraft then drifted over open space between the two hangers on a northerly heading; the left wing was seen to drop and the aircraft impacted the ground almost vertically. The pilot was fatally injured.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 253KB]
General details
Date: 24 December 2006   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 09:30 ESuT    
Location   (show map): Nelson Aerodrome    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Wirestrike  
Release date: 06 February 2008   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Auster Aircraft Ltd  
Aircraft model J1  
Aircraft registration VH-ALO  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Nelson Vic.  
Destination Wakerie SA  
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 0 0 1
Total: 1 0 0 1
Last update 18 April 2018