Aviation safety investigations & reports

Loss of control - Piper PA-30-160B Twin Comanche aircraft, VH-KDS, 43 km east of Perth Airport, WA, 28 March 2010

Investigation number:
AO-2010-023
Status: Completed
Investigation completed

Summary

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At 0826 Western Standard Time on 28 March 2010, a Piper Aircraft Corp. PA‑30 Twin Comanche aircraft, registered VH‑KDS, departed Jandakot Airport, Western Australia for a private flight under the visual flight rules (VFR). On board were two qualified pilots, both of whom were endorsed on the aircraft type. No details of the flight were submitted to Air Traffic Services nor left with any other person. At 1815, following the failure of the aircraft to return to Jandakot, the Australian Rescue Coordination Centre was notified and a search was initiated to locate the aircraft.

Following examination of radar data, the aircraft was located the following morning by the crew of a search and rescue (SAR) helicopter. Upon landing, the helicopter crew established that the two occupants had sustained fatal injuries.

Analysis of data recorded by onboard Global Positioning System equipment identified that while maintaining about 3,500 ft above mean sea level, the speed of the aircraft steadily decreased followed by a steep descent that continued to ground level.

Examination of the aircraft identified that the propeller of the left engine was feathered prior to impact; however, no evidence of a defect or other circumstance that would have necessitated feathering of the propeller was identified.

The investigation identified that the circumstances of the accident were consistent with a loss of control due to sufficient airspeed not being maintained. In addition, the investigation found that the lack of flight details available for the search and rescue authorities and the non-activation of the portable emergency locator transmitter hampered the SAR response.

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Alternate: [Download  DOC: 7.4MB]
 

Preliminary

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Preliminary Report Released 20 May 2010

On 28 March 2010, a Piper Aircraft Corp PA-30 Twin Comanche, registered VH-KDS, departed from Jandakot Aerodrome, Western Australia for a private flight under the visual flight rules. On board were two qualified pilots, both of whom were endorsed on the aircraft type. Following the failure of the aircraft to return to Jandakot later that day, a search was initiated to locate the aircraft and occupants. The following morning, the seriously-damaged aircraft was located and both occupants were found to have received fatal injuries.

Examination of onboard GPS information indicated that, while tracking towards Jandakot Aerodrome, the aircraft commenced a steep descent from about 3,500 ft above mean sea level that continued to ground level.

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General details
Date: 28 March 2010   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0948 WST    
Location   (show map): 43 km east of Perth Airport   Investigation level: Complex  
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Loss of control  
Release date: 02 June 2011   Occurrence class: Operational  
Report status: Final   Occurrence category: Accident  
  Highest injury level: Fatal  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-30  
Aircraft registration VH-KDS  
Serial number 30-952  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Jandakot, WA  
Destination Jandakot, WA  
Last update 14 November 2018