Jump to Content
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 3.95MB]
 
 
 

On 31 October 2006, a Piper Aircraft Corporation PA-31-350 Chieftain aircraft, registered VH-ZGZ, was being operated on a private category instrument flight rules (IFR) flight from Emerald to Gladstone, Qld. On board the aircraft were the pilot in command and two passengers. After departing Emerald at 1807 Eastern Standard Time, the flight proceeded apparently normally until the aircraft disappeared from radar while passing about 4,500 ft on descent into Gladstone. It was subsequently determined that the aircraft had crashed 9 km SE of Raglan, approximately 39 km west of Gladstone. The aircraft occupants received fatal injuries.

Conditions in the area of the accident were dark with some rain. Thunderstorms had been forecast but there was no thunderstorm or lightning activity in the area where radar contact was lost.

Recorded radar and voice transmission information indicated that the aircraft was performing normally before it suddenly diverged left from a steady descending flight path and entered a spiral dive.

On-site examination confirmed that the aircraft impacted the ground at high speed in a steep, left spiral descent. The aircraft structure was complete at impact. It was established that at impact, both engines were operating at between 2,200 and 2,400 RPM and both propellers were in the normal operating pitch range. There was evidence that the gyroscopic instruments were functioning. The destruction to the wreckage precluded examination of the electrical and fuel systems, the flight controls, and the autopilot.

A series of maintenance issues involving the aircraft's engines occurred in the period before the accident. However, there was evidence that these had been resolved before the accident flight.

The pilot's experience on the aircraft type was limited, as was his night and instrument flight experience. The dark and very likely cloudy conditions that existed in the area where the aircraft suddenly diverged from its flight path meant that recovery to normal flight could only have been achieved by sole reference to the aircraft's flight instruments. The difficulty associated with such a task when the aircraft was in a steep descent was likely to have been significant.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 3.95MB]
 
 
 
 
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 1008KB]
 
 
 

On 31 October 2006 at 1955 Eastern Standard Time, PA31-350 aircraft, registered VH-ZGZ, was on descent to Gladstone Airport, Qld when its radar track disappeared from the air situation display in the Brisbane Air Traffic Control Centre. Subsequently, the aircraft was found to have impacted terrain approximately 9 km south-east of Raglan, Qld. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post-impact fire.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 1008KB]
 
 
 
 
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 376KB]
 
 
 

On 31 October 2006 at 1955 Eastern Standard Time, PA31-350 aircraft, registered VH-ZGZ, was on descent to Gladstone Airport, Qld when its radar track disappeared from the air situation display in the Brisbane Air Traffic Control Centre. Subsequently, the aircraft was found to have impacted terrain approximately 9 km south-east of Raglan, Qld. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post-impact fire.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 376KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 31 October 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1955 EST Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):Raglan Occurrence type:Loss of control 
State: Queensland Occurrence class: Operational 
Release date: 27 January 2009 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31 
Aircraft registration: VH-ZGZ 
Serial number: 31-7752006 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Emerald QLD
Departure time:1807
Destination:Gladstone QLD
 
Injuries
 CrewPassengerGroundTotal
Fatal: 1203
Total:1203
 
 
 
Share this page Provide feedback on this investigation
Last update 13 May 2014