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Preliminary report released 19 February 2008

On 7 December 2007, the pilot of an Air Tractor Inc. AT-802 aircraft, registered VH-LIS, was conducting a test flight at Lake Liddell, NSW. The purpose of that flight was to test an experimental in-flight water collection system using skis attached to the aircraft's main landing gear.

At about 0910 Eastern Daylight-saving time, the pilot was conducting the second test run of the day. After the aircraft had been in contact with the surface of the lake for about 36 seconds, witnesses observed the aircraft collide with the surface of the lake. The aircraft overturned and sank in about 9 metres of water. The pilot was fatally injured.

Examination of the aircraft wreckage showed impact damage consistent with the aircraft pitching nose down, about its right main landing gear while rotating to the right.

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