During an approach into Cairns Airport, Qld in overcast conditions late on the morning of 2 December 2006, the pilot of a Piper Navajo aircraft, registered VH-BTD, lost control of the aircraft and entered an uncontrolled descent. Control of the aircraft was regained shortly before the pilot became visual below the cloud base, and the pilot continued to Cairns.
The loss of control was the result of the pilot's inexperience with respect to the effects of spatial disorientation and with flight in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).
This occurrence reaffirms the potential for spatial disorientation, if not recognised and recovered from appropriately, to result in the loss of aircraft control.
|Date:||02 December 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1112 EST||Investigation level:||Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||50 km north of Cairns|
|State:||Queensland||Occurrence type:||Loss of control|
|Release date:||06 May 2009||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Piper Aircraft Corp|
|Type of operation||Charter|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Port Moresby|
|Departure time||0822 EST|
|Role||Class of licence||Hours on type||Hours total|