Summary

Summary

On 30 June 2010, a Cessna Aircraft Company 172H (C172), registered VH-RZV, with one pilot on board, was engaged in cattle spotting, about 21 km NNW of Cunnamulla, Queensland (Qld.).

While orbiting a water trough at about 500 ft, the pilot lost control of the aircraft. Damage to the aircraft was consistent with the right wing colliding with a tree branch, followed by the aircraft impacting the ground inverted, with a steep nose-down attitude

The pilot sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was severely damaged. The pilot reported that the most likely reason for the accident was an inadvertent stall. This probably occurred while the pilot was performing a steep turn, with his attention divided between flying the aircraft and looking for cattle.

Most stall/spin accidents occur when a pilot is momentarily distracted from the primary task of flying the aircraft. This accident highlights that even an experienced pilot performing a familiar task can be momentarily distracted, resulting in the loss of control of the aircraft.