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On 26 May 2007 at about 1644 Western Standard Time, a Piper Aircraft Corp PA-28RT-201 aircraft, registered VH-FTT, departed Jandakot Airport for Esperance, WA. On board the private, visual flight rules (VFR) flight were the non-instrument-rated owner-pilot, and two passenger friends.

The flight arrived at Esperance about 1 hour and 40 minutes after last light, and in marginal weather conditions. The aircraft impacted the ground on what appeared to be a right base for runway 11. There were no survivors.

There was no evidence of any technical defect or other failure of the aeroplane, or of its associated systems, prior to the impact with terrain. That, and the normal operation of the approach and landing aids, and apparent activation of the aerodrome lighting, suggested that the most likely factors that contributed to the development of the occurrence related to the operation of the aircraft.

The investigation was unable to conclusively establish the reason for the impact with terrain. The investigation could not exclude the possibility of a sudden incapacitation of the pilot due to a cardiac condition. However, the weather conditions enroute to, and in the vicinity of Esperance were such that the pilot's decision to attempt the flight indicated a low appreciation, or an acceptance, of the associated risks. The attempted approach and landing under those conditions represented a significant level of risk for any flight attempted under the night VFR.

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[ Download PDF: 397KB]
General details
Date: 26 May 2007 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0815 WST  
Location   (show map):near Esperance Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 17 October 2008 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-FTT 
Serial number: 28R-7918047 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Jandakot, WA
Departure time:1644
Destination:Esperance, WA
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Fatal: 1203
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Last update 14 November 2018