Aviation safety investigations & reports

Fuel-related event - 50 km south-west of Canberra, 21 May 2009

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 21 May 2009, the pilot of a Piper PA-31 Navajo, registered VH-WAL, was conducting a flight under the instrument flight rules from Albury, NSW to Canberra, ACT with one passenger on board. Approximately half way through the flight, the pilot became concerned about the quantity of fuel remaining and subsequently conducted a precautionary landing 50 km south-west of Canberra. There was no reported damage to the aircraft or injuries to the occupants.

The aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that, as a result of this occurrence, it has implemented a requirement for all of its pilots to use a documented fuel plan in all circumstances when flying from one location to another.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 264KB]
General details
Date: 21 May 2009   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1520 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Canberra Aerodrome, 50 km    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Fuel - Other  
Release date: 14 December 2009   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31  
Aircraft registration VH-WAL  
Serial number 31-7300943  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Albury, NSW  
Destination Canberra, ACT  
Last update 03 April 2020