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At about 0930 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 26 February 2008, an Air Tractor Inc. 502, registered VH-CJK (CJK) that was aerial spraying 10 km north-east of Wee Waa, New South Wales and an Air Tractor Inc. 502B, registered VH-ATB (ATB) that had just departed from a nearby airstrip, collided at about 200 ft above ground level. The pilot of CJK was fatally injured and the pilot of ATB was seriously injured. Both aircraft were seriously damaged. Neither pilot was aware of the other aircraft and, although visibility at the time of the accident was reported as 'good', either one or both pilots did not see the other aircraft in sufficient time to avoid a collision.

The limitations of an unalerted visual traffic scan could explain why both pilots may not have seen the other aircraft but, without the knowledge of one another's intended operations they lacked situational awareness. Generally, agricultural pilots relied on visual separation and vertical segregation to avoid collisions. In this instance, the proximity of the field being sprayed to the airstrip from which ATB took off and the aircraft's climb gradient from that airstrip, brought the two aircraft into conflict.

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Preliminary report 11 June 2008

At 0930 Eastern Daylight-saving Time on 26 February 2008, Air Tractor Inc. 502 registered VH-CJK (CJK), whose pilot was engaged in the aerial spraying of a field approximately 10 km NE of Wee Waa township, NSW, and Air Tractor Inc. 502B registered VH-ATB (ATB), that had just departed from an airstrip approximately 13 km north-east of Wee Waa, collided. The pilot of CJK was fatally injured and the aircraft destroyed by collision forces with the other aircraft and by ground impact. It did not catch fire. The pilot of ATB was seriously injured and the aircraft destroyed by collision forces with the other aircraft, ground impact, and a post impact fire.

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General details
Date: 26 February 2008 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0930 ESuT  
Location   (show map):Wee Waa Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Airborne collision 
Release date: 26 July 2010 Occurrence class: Airspace 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Air Tractor Inc 
Aircraft model: AT502 
Aircraft registration: VH-CJK  
Serial number: 502-0057 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:ALA 4.5 km SW Wee Waa NSW
Departure time:0920
Destination:ALA 4.5 km SW Wee Waa NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Pilot-in-CommandCommercial349714 078
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: Air Tractor Inc 
Aircraft model: AT502 
Aircraft registration: VH-ATB  
Serial number: 502B-0287 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:ALA 13 km NE Wee Waa NSW
Departure time:0928
Destination:ALA 13 km NE Wee Waa NSW
Crew details
RoleClass of licenceHours on typeHours total
Pilot-in-CommandCommercial60008875
 
Injuries
 CrewPassengerGroundTotal
Fatal: 1001
Serious: 1001
Total:2002
 
 
 
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Last update 14 November 2018