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Summary

Summary

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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