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At about 1030 Eastern Standard Time on 18 October 2010, a Cessna 172S aircraft, registered VH-VSK, was operating at low level near Durham Downs Homestead, Queensland. A pilot and one passenger were on board.

The pilot was assisting a ground party locate two horses. The aircraft was seen manoeuvring at low level before radio and visual contact was lost. A search later found that the aircraft had impacted terrain near a dry creek bed. Both occupants received fatal injuries and the aircraft was seriously damaged.

The aircraft's impact attitude was consistent with a loss of control following aerodynamic stall. The pilot was reported to have told another pilot a few days before the occurrence that the aircraft's stall warning system was inoperative. However, the status of the stall warning system at the time of the occurrence could not be confirmed. The investigation identified some other issues which also could have influenced the safety of the flight.

The aircraft operator introduced a number of changes to its policies and procedures following the occurrence.

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General details
Date: 18 October 2010 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1030 EST  
Location   (show map):2 km NNE Durham Downs, NW of Thargomindah Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Loss of control 
Release date: 04 November 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Fatal 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 172 
Aircraft registration: VH-VSK 
Serial number: 172S8648 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
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Last update 13 May 2014