Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with Terrain - (VFR into IMC) 8 km NW of Donors Hill Station, QLD 24 February 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 24 February 2009, at 1417 Eastern Standard Time, a Piper Aircraft PA28-180 Cherokee aircraft, registered VH-DAC, departed Normanton Airport, Qld on a visual flight rules private flight to Mount Isa with the pilot as the sole occupant. The aircraft did not arrive at Mount Isa as expected, and was later found to have impacted terrain at a location adjacent to the planned track. The aircraft was seriously damaged and the pilot was fatally injured. Examination of the wreckage did not indicate any pre-existing technical fault that may have contributed to the accident. The pilot was not qualified to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). He may have inadvertently entered IMC while attempting to avoid rain and cloud associated with a weather system that was moving over the intended route at the time.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 418KB]
General details
Date: 24 February 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1400 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Normanton Aerodrome SW 120 Km    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Collision with terrain  
Release date: 25 January 2010   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-DAC  
Serial number 28-7405190  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Normanton, Qld  
Departure time 1235 EST  
Destination Mt.Isa, Qld  
  Crew Passenger Ground Total
Fatal: 1 0 0 1
Total: 1 0 0 1
Last update 03 April 2020