On 26 February 2010, a Cessna Aircraft Company U206G aircraft, registered VH-WYN, departed Forest River, Western Australia (WA) on a charter passenger flight to Kununurra, WA under visual flight rules (VFR) conditions.
Shortly after departing Forest River, the pilot observed dark clouds in the direction of Kununurra. The pilot listened to the aerodrome weather information service (AWIS) at Kununurra and determined that the conditions were appropriate to continue the flight. While en route, the weather conditions deteriorated further. The pilot diverted to the east in an attempt to avoid the weather, however, a rain band was also moving in a north-easterly direction.
The pilot reported that the weather conditions deteriorated around the aircraft and after considering the available options, the instrument flight rated pilot elected to enter instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The aircraft was flown through moderate to heavy rainfall and light turbulence for a period of between 1 and 2 minutes, but remained clear of cloud. The remainder of the flight was conducted in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and the aircraft landed at Kununurra without further incident.
Weather-related general aviation accidents remain one of the most significant causes for concern in aviation safety; the often fatal outcomes of which are usually all the more tragic because they were avoidable.
The ATSB has published several weather-related research reports. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) also provides pilots with weather-related educational resources.
|Date:||26 February 2010||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Time:||1218 WST||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||56 km NE of Kununurra aerodrome|
|State:||Western Australia||Occurrence type:||VFR into IMC|
|Release date:||29 June 2010||Occurrence class:||Operational|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Incident|
|Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Cessna Aircraft Company|
|Type of operation||Charter|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Forest River, WA|