Aviation safety investigations & reports

VFR into IMC - VH-WYN, 56 km NE of Kununurra aerodrome WA, 26 February 2010

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 3.07MB]
General details
Date: 26 February 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1218 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 56 km NE of Kununurra aerodrome    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: VFR into IMC  
Release date: 29 June 2010   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 206  
Aircraft registration VH-WYN  
Serial number U20605906  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Forest River, WA  
Destination Kununurra, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018