Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with Terrain; Uaroo Station, Pilbara, WA; Cessna Aircraft Company 172M, VH-TCS

Investigation number:
AO-2007-060
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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At about 0730 Western Daylight-saving Time, on 17 November 2007, the wreckage of a Cessna Aircraft Company C172M aircraft, registered VH-TCS, was discovered on the side of a hill, at Uaroo Station, in the Pilbara region of WA, about 500 m from the property air strip. The aircraft had been destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, had been fatally injured.

Information obtained from persons that knew the pilot indicated that he had most likely taken-off from the airstrip during the morning of 16 November 2007, however, the actual time of the takeoff could not be determined. There were no reported witnesses to the takeoff, any subsequent flight, or the accident. Tyre marks made by the aircraft indicated that the aircraft had taken-off from runway 27 to the west.

There was no evidence of an engine or aircraft system problem which could have contributed to the accident. There was no evidence that the pilot had a pre-existing physiological condition that could have contributed to the accident. The aircraft manufacturer's tabulated takeoff data showed that the aircraft should have had sufficient performance to takeoff from runway 27 and climb clear of terrain.

There is evidence to indicate the possibility of adverse meteorological phenomena such as strong wind gusts and willy-willies in the area on the days before, during and subsequent to the accident. The willy-willies were reported to be difficult to see, form and dissipate rapidly, and travel in the same direction as the prevailing wind.

While the reason that the aircraft impacted terrain could not be conclusively determined, it is probable that the aircraft encountered adverse meteorological phenomena such as strong wind gusts and willy-willies, after takeoff from runway 27.

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Preliminary

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Preliminary report released 16 January 2008

Late in the afternoon on 15 November 2007, a Cessna Aircraft Company 172M aircraft, registered VH-TCS, took off from Uaroo Station, in the Pilbara region of WA, for a local flight under the visual flight rules. A witness driving in a northerly direction along the North West Coastal Highway reported seeing a column of 'dark smoke' in the direction of the property between about 1700 and 1730 Western Daylight-saving Time.

Witnesses discovered the aircraft wreckage on the side of a hill located about 500 m from the property landing strip on the morning of 17 November 2007. The aircraft had been destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured.

Download Preliminary Report
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General details
Date: 15 November 2007   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: Unknown WSuT   Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Uaroo Station    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 16 January 2009   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 172  
Aircraft registration VH-TCS  
Serial number 17264194  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Destroyed  
Departure point Uaroo Station, WA  
Departure time Unknown  
Destination Uaroo Station, WA  
 
Injuries
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 0 0 1
Total: 1 0 0 1
Last update 14 November 2018